Spaghetti a la Puttanesca

Lus August 13, 2012 4

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Spaghetti a la Puttanesca

History/background: Various accounts are given of the sauce’s origins, but it is likely that they date to the mid twentieth century. From the Campania region in Italy. (Source)

There are variations with tuna fish instead of anchovies, as I have done with mine.

Why it’s awesome: It’s Italian,  and it’s quick and easy to prepare!


  1. 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  2. 1 can of tuna
  3. 1 tomato cubed or diced however you like it
  4. 10 chopped black olives or kalamata olives (they taste much better)
  5. 1.5 tbsp of whole capers
  6. 5 tbsp of olive oil
  7. 225 grams of spaghetti or fine linguine I prefer Divella Linguine 14 for this kind of recipe

Yield/servings: 2 portions or 1 portion for a hungry man

Delicious Puttanesca

Cook time/ Directions:
1015 mins

Step 1: Place your olive oil in a heated frying pan, once the oil is hot, place your finely chopped garlic in the oil. Fry the garlic until it becomes golden brown.

Step 2: Once your garlic is golden brown, mix in the tuna, olives, capers and chopped tomato. Fry them all together until the tomato starts to wilt a little bit. This sauce can basically be eaten uncooked, except the pasta of course! So cook until you’ve reached your desired temperature. Salt to taste if needed. Spices go in last, I like to use chili flakes to spice things up here! Fresh basil also goes very well with any pasta dish.

Step 3: Mix in the cooked pasta, toss and serve!

How to Cook Pasta: Bring your water to a boil, salt your water. Use approximately a half tbsp for 225 grams of pasta. Cook your pasta until it is al dente.

I find that there is a general misconception about pasta. One where most people believe it unimportant to salt the pasta while it cooks, and secondly that pasta cannot be overcooked. Well this is generally and very much, INCORRECT YOU JERK! You CAN overcook pasta, AND YOU WILL! Very easily in fact and YOU MUST salt your pasta while it boils! Otherwise it will taste like SHIT! This brings out the flavor of your sauce people!!! THESE ARE THE BASICS OF PASTA EATING! In italian they have a word for when there isn’t enough salt. They say “la pasta e scema” which loosely translates to “the pasta is crazy” and the pasta is crazy when it doesn’t have ENOUGH SALT!

Also note that pasta should be the LAST thing to be cooked when preparing it, otherwise it will overcook  while it waits for the sauce to be ready. Always, but ALWAYS cook your pasta LAST when preparing a pasta dish. ALWAYS!

Nutritional Benefits: Fish either anchovies or tuna are both good for you, again, the nutritional benefits all depend on their freshness.

  • Olives are high in fiber, vit E, rich in iron and copper. Although high in fat, they are high in monoUNSATURATED fat, which increases HDL (aka Good) Cholesterol.
  • Tomatoes are an excellent source of vit C, A, B, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium. Damn son! Tomatoes are also a good source of chromium, folate and fiber.
  • Capers are very high in antioxidants.
  • Tuna is an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids which has been known to improve brain function.My Plate of Linguine A La Puttanesca
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  1. Mimi January 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm -

    I feel this is somewhat directed at me…

  2. Chocolatesa April 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm -

    Mmmmm… I wish I could get some anchovies to make this right now…

  3. Joanie June 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm -

    Ok this recipe made me drool, I’m going to try it tonight! :) Thanks

  4. jerome March 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm -

    Just tried this minus the olives and I used 3 tomatoes, I feel like even 3 wasn’t enough…just sayin’

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