Traditional Spaghetti alla Puttanesca from Ischia Island

Many stories exist about this Italian culinary traditional recipe, called Pasta alla Puttanesca. The most accredited says that the first bite of spaghetti alla puttanesca dates back to the 50s in Ischia (one of the most picturesque islands in the Bay of Naples) by Sandro Petti, owner of the famous Rangio Fellone restaurant. One evening he was about to close the restaurant, and he was asked by a group of customers to prepare them a meal. He was low on ingredients and told them he did not have enough to make them a meal. They complained that it was late and they were hungry, saying “Facci una puttanata qualsiasi,” meaning “throw together whatever.” Petti had only a few tomatoes, olives, and some capers, common ingredients in an Italian pantry. So he used them to prepare the sauce for a dish of Spaghetti. Lately, he included this dish on her restaurant’s menu naming it Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.

🍷 Francesca & Marinella🍴

Pasta alla Puttanesca


Puttanesca Pasta

4 servings
Preparation Time: 5 minCooking Time: 15 min
20 min


  • 320 g (3/4 pound) spaghetti
  • 3 tbs (1/4 cup) EVO oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can of peeled tomatoes in puree or cherry tomatoes in puree
  • 1/2 cup Gaeta or Kalamata olives, halved, pitted
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 tbs drained capers
  • dried crushed or fresh chilly peppers, to taste


  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, warm a large frying pan over medium heat, add oil and garlic and sauté until fragrant, for about 1 minute. Remove the garlic. Add anchovies and with a wooden spoon mix and melt them. Pour olives, capers and crushed chilly peppers (if you are using the fresh one add it at the end). Add tomato puree, season with salt, mix and break up tomatoes with a spoon. Let simmer the sauce over medium-low heat until thick (about 10 min).
  • When the water is boiling, add the salt and pour the pasta in. Cook the pasta until al dente, tender but still firm to bite (follow the cooking time on the pasta package). Drain the pasta and add it to the saucepan. Toss over low heat until the sauce coats the pasta. Serve it.

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