Looking for something easy, fresh, quick, and delicious? Craving quick Italian? Look no further than Spaghetti Alla Putanesca! Why is this on Tucker’s Barbeque? Because it’s one of my favorite dishes to make and I’m not selfish.

This classic Italian dish from Naples features garlic, olives, tomatoes, and of course, pasta. This dish might have a bit of a sordid past; the word puttana in Italian means whore, and it is thought this dish was originally developed in the brothels of Naples. Alternatively, puttanata means bitc…

Either way, regardless of the history, this ultra simple dish is easy and quick to make, and has become a staple in our household. The fresher the herbs you add the better.


One of the great things about this quick Italian dish is the ability to customize… I always recommend that you try it as written first to give you a solid baseline. Then modify one thing at a time each time.

The sauce level is not meant to be a hearty sauce like one would normally associate with “spaghetti”. It’ll look like a lot of sauce and the disappear. I can see a lot of people wanting to adjust the sauce.

Also, saltiness is a factor here. You have the salted anchovies, the capers, and the olives. It’s a lot of salt… however if you are looking for that real salty caper taste, I’d add another 1/2 tsp of capers to the recipe.

A few things to note:
– Start with a large skillet, enough to hold the sauce AND the pasta
– Frying the anchovies and garlic does make a bit of a splatter mess. You could probably cover it to help reduce the mess.
– The picture in the recipe is my kitchen table.

Let me know what you liked (or didn’t) in the comments! Did you tweak it at all?

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Delicious goodness of Italy
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 People


  • 12 oz Spaghetti
  • 28 oz Canned Plum Tomatoes High Quality
  • 1 ½ tbsp Capers
  • ¼ tsp Chili Flakes ½ tsp if you like spicy
  • ½ cup Kalamata Olives Drained
  • 1 tbsp Parsley Flakes
  • 3 cloves Garlic Sliced Thin
  • 5-7 each Anchovy fillets in oil Salted
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • In a large hot skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and bring to a shimmer. Drop in anchovy fillets and garlic. Fry for 45 seconds.
  • Pour in tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium. Add capers, chili flakes, olives, and parsley. Stir together and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally. After about 5-6 min, break down the tomatoes into a sauce.
  • Begin cooking pasta by placing in boiling salted pot. Cook until al dente (~7-9 min).
  • Once the pasta is al dente, scoop spaghetti directly from water to sauce skillet. Do not drain. Mix pasta and sauce together.
  • Serve with ricotta and top with fresh basil or parsley!

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