Puttanesca sauce with pasta

Serves 4


2 cloves garlic finely sliced
dried chilli flakes to taste
8 anchovy fillets rinsed and roughly chopped
olive oil
1 tsp each of dried oregano and thyme
800g chopped tomatoes or two tins
100g black olives
1 tbsp capers
shredded leftovers of chicken, pork, or turkey


Gently warm the garlic, chilli flakes, herbs and the chopped anchovies until the anchovies begin to break down and melt. Increase the heat and add the tomatoes, leaving to cook for around ten minutes. Two minutes from the end, stir in the black olives and the capers.


This most simple of concoctions is classic ‘fast food’, a few complimentary ingredients quickly combined to make a delicious sauce to accompany spaghetti or other forms of pasta.

Since pasta is made from wheat it is a rich food and requires a slightly spicy and aromatic companion to aid its digestion, stimulating motility and secretion. This sauce is ideal with its blend of garlic, capers, chilli, oregano and thyme. Olives and anchovies add a little oily richness and savoury depth to stimulate appetite; this makes it somewhat moreish!


Puttanesca sauce with pasta is essentially a light dish since it primarily derives its richness from the vegetarian proteins of the durum wheat used for the pasta flour. This places it as a late spring, summer and early autumn dish in British terms. It does however have a lovely aromatic/spicy profile which makes it adaptable to cold and dry weather with the addition of a little extra richness in the form of leftover meat. Some shredded chicken, lamb, beef or sliced sausage all work well with this versatile sauce and turn it into an ideal working lunch.