Spaghetti alla puttanesca

Spaghetti alla puttanesca (Alan Benson)








  • 400 g spaghetti

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 10 anchovy fillets in oil, drained, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • 600 g (about 4) tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved

  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

  • 50 g (¼ cup) salted capers, rinsed, drained, chopped)

  • 50 g (⅓ cup) pitted black olives, roughly chopped

  • extra virgin olive oil and grated Italian Parmesan (such as Grana Padano), to serve


Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, anchovy and parsley and cook for 1 minute, but don’t allow to brown. Add tomato and juice, chilli, capers and olives. Simmer for 4 minutes or until tomato has broken down, adding a little reserved cooking water, if necessary. Season with pepper, remove from heat and keep warm until pasta is cooked.

Add pasta to sauce. Toss to combine, adding a little extra virgin olive oil to taste. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan and seasoned with black pepper.

Photography by Alan Benson. Food preparation by Kellie McChesney. Styling by Michelle Crawford.

As seen in Feast magazine, April 2015, Issue 41. 

Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

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