whore's pasta

whore’s pasta

Whore’s pasta. Or pasta puttanesca / spaghetti alla puttanesca as you might know it by.  You cannot write about this Napolese dish without some reference to the translation, surely?

The name derives from its origins as an extremely quick dinner to make, literally as long as it takes to boil a pan of spaghetti, so it was favoured by the prostitutes of Naples, who’d eat it between callers.  It utilises staple store cupboard ingredients, marries huge, bold flavours and it’s whoreishly cheap, too.

whore's pasta

This is a perfect tea for a horrible, grey Wednesday, much like today, especially when time is of the essence, regardless of your career choices. I make it, in one form or another, a few times a week with whatever’s lurking in the fridge and cupboard, I eat a LOT of pasta, I mean a lot,  but I go back to the true(ish) recipe very frequently too.  A true puttanesca has anchovies, as I don’t eat fish I omit and replace them with extra capers.  And I’m fairly sure it’s none the worse for it.  If you want to add anchovies fry them up with the garlic and chilli.

It’s easy, fast, hot, cheap, extremely satisfying and tastes unforgettable.  What’s not to love?  I’m talking about the pasta right, not me. Haha.

pasta puttanesca

Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 22 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

What you will need

  • 160g spaghetti or linguini
  • 4 cloves garlic (sliced finely)
  • 2 Tablespoons black olives (halved)
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • Half teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 150ml passatta
  • Large handful chopped flat leaf parsley
  • parmesan cheese
  • olive oil


Step 1 Get a saucepan of salted water on to boil for the spaghetti. Get that cooking as soon as it does so
Step 2 In another pan warm over a low heat a generous glug of olive oil and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes - don't let it brown
Step 3 Add the olives and capers, followed by the passatta
Step 4 Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and stir it into the pan with the sauce.
Step 5 Once everything's coated, divide it between two bowls.
Step 6 Sprinkle with fresh parsley, grated parmesan and some more olive oil, if you like




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