Spaghetti alla puttanesca

Nigella on whore’s pasta:

“Well, how could I resist this translation of pasta alla puttanesca, whore’s pasta as it usually is described in English? The general consensus seems to be that this is the sort of dish cooked by slatterns who don’t go to market to get their ingredients fresh, but are happy to use stuff out of jars and tins. I hold my hands up to that. Or maybe one should just attribute the name gamely to the fiery tang and robust saltiness of the dish?” Nigella Lawson


Jamie Oliver’s recipe:

Spaghettis Alla Puttanesca

Pic: Corbis


400 g dried spaghetti

olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

3 anchovy fillets , chopped

2 fresh red chillies, sliced (seeds in)

a small handful of black olives, destoned

2 handfuls very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked or, if you prefer, dried oregano and fresh chopped parsley

Parmesan cheese, to serve


Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, then add the spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions.

Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add a good lug of olive oil, followed by the garlic, anchovy and chilli. Tear in the olives and stir for 2 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden and the anchovies melt into the base. Add the cherry tomatoes, a good splash of pasta water and cover with a lid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cherry tomatoes start to cook down slightly.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of cooking water. Add the basil to the sauce along with the pasta and a splash of the reserved cooking water, to loosen. Have a taste and season if needed. Transfer to a serving platter and top with a good shaving of fresh Parmesan.

Or an original Italian recipe:


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