Around the globe in 80 plates: Italy

How it then became spaghetti alla puttanesca furthers this dishes mystery.

As the word puttana means whore in Italian, many believe it came from the brothels and the woman that “worked the night shift” during World War II, being that it was a quick and easy dish to put together between “obligations”.

However, others believe it was invented in the 50’s by Sandro Petti, co-owner of a famous Ischia restaurant, Rancio Fellone. Story goes some late night customers came complaining they were hungry. They asked Petti, to make “una puttanata qualsiasi,” which means, to throw together whatever ingredients he had, to make something simple. Not having much left he threw together a sauce made of olives, capers, garlic, chili pepper, oregano, tomatoes, olive oil and anchovies, and served it with spaghetti, and there puttanesca was born.

We went with a more Neapolitan recipe, mostly because we didn’t have anchovies.


Makes 3 portions

225g of spaghetti
300ml of passata
60g of tomato paste
80g of olives
1 tbspn of capers
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 chilli or 1 tspn of chilli flakes
1 tbspn of oregano
2 ladles of your pasta water
Olive oil to cook
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Before making your sauce put your pasta on boil, this is a really quick sauce so you want your pasta cooked and ready.

2.Heat your pan to a medium, high heat. Add a good slug of oil followed by your garlic and chilli, let fry for a minute before lowering the heat to a medium simmer.

3. Mix together your passata and tomato paste in a bowl and then add to your pan. Add your olives, capers, and lastly oregano, salt and pepper, be mindful that capers and olives are salty.

4. Mix together then let warm through for a few minutes.
Add your spaghetti and 2 to 3 ladles of the pasta water to your sauce, mix together until all your pasta is covered in sauce.

Serve and enjoy x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s