Harlot-Style Spaghetti / Spaghetti alla Puttanesca


Every Italian cook has a recipe for “harlot-style spaghetti”, named for the hot red pepper that gives it quite a kick. Assuming you have the staples on hand, including oil-cured black olives, anchovies, capers, and dried tomatoes, this colorful and spicy dish can be put together in twenty minutes.


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small hot red pepper, slit
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 2-ounce tin anchovies, drained and chopped
  • 1 pound ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed, dried, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted oil-cured black olives
  • 1/4 cup Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pepper and garlic and cook, pressing on the pepper with a wooden spoon, until the garlic begins to color. Remove the pepper and discard. Add the anchovies and swirl them in the oil until they begin to dissolve. Add the tomatoes, capers, and olives, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes more.
  2. While the sauce cooks, puree the dried tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the sauce and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to very low to keep the sauce warm.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain well and add to the sauce. Toss the spaghetti in the sauce and turn out onto a platter. Serve immediately.
  5. Note: To peel tomatoes, drop them into a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, cool, and slip off the skins.
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