7 April 2019

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

One of my most fond memories is of eating this meal; I was in Sorrento last summer with my parents and we found the cutest little restaurant, completely authentic in both the food and decor and serving up the best house wine in a little homemade jug. The service was excellent, the food even more so and just the thought of it now fills me with warmth. The restaurant was so good in fact, we broke our holiday rule of trying a new restaurant each night and just had to go back there again, this time sitting outside at dusk, feeling the warm summer breeze of Sorrento and it was just as perfect. 

With such lovely expectations of this dish, it really surprised me when I ordered it at a restaurant in London and it unfortunately just fell really short of the mark, it was then I knew I just had to make my own version, to do it justice! This dish honestly couldn't be simpler, with just a few key ingredients, simple techniques and the whole dish coming together in just 15 minutes. Be sure to follow the recipe and you'll have something just incredible in front of you! 

I used my new favourite ingredient in this dish, tinned cherry tomatoes, they're little sweet roasted tomatoes in just the perfect amount of juice, meaning you won't be simmering your sauce for hours to get that incredible sweet tomato flavour. However, if you can't find tinned tomatoes, you can always roast some baby tomatoes for 20 minutes and add a little passata too. 

This dish goes really well with some lightly dressed rocket with balsamic and olive oil, the classic garlic bread, or some sauteed Mediterranean veg, however you choose to serve it, be sure to include a nice glass of red...Merlot is my favourite and it pairs wonderfully!

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca | Serves: 4 | Time: 15 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups + spoons
  • Sauté pan
  • Large saucepan
  • Tongs
  • Ladle


  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tins cherry tomatoes (2x400g tins)
  • 1 tsp mild chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted*
  • 300g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp chopped parlsey
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
  • Salt and black pepper
*Pitting the olives yourself will take a little longer, but they will have a much fuller flavour


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  2. Heat up the sauté pan on a low heat, then add a good drizzle of olive oil. Peel the garlic and slice as thinly as you can, then add to the oil. Keep moving the garlic around to ensure it cooks and turns translucent but doesn't brown or burn and if required, remove from the direct heat, allowing the hot oil to cook the garlic gently. 
  3. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, capers, olives and chili flakes to the garlic pan and warm through. Then, once the pasta is cooked, using tongs, transfer it into the sauté pan, along with a ladle full of the pasta water. Stir the pasta through the sauce and add the parsley and torn basil leaves. Taste and season as required with salt and pepper, then serve up with a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!
Cassidy xx