Spaghetti a' la Puttanesca a' la Napoletana - Spaghetti a' la Campania Style
PREP TIME:30 Minutes

This dish combines almost all the tasty staples of the southern Italian kitchen. Although many recipes have been printed for this popular dish, this is one of my favorites. Adjust the anchovies, olives and capers depending on your taste. This dish was supposedly named because ladies of the night were able to fix it quickly between "tricks."


  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe, fresh tomatoes; or 1 1/2 pounds canned tomatoes, preferably imported Italian, drained
  • Coarse-grained salt
  • 2 medium-sized cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pound large black Greek olives in brine
  • 3 anchovies in salt, or 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 4 heaping tbsp capers in wine vinegar, drained
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti, preferably imported Italian

If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them in boiling salted water, remove the skins, and cut them into pieces. Pass fresh or canned tomatoes through a food mill, using the disc with smallest holes, into a crockery or glass bowl.

Coarsely chop the garlic on a board. Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat; when the oil is warm, add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pit the olives and cut them into quarters. If using anchovies preserved in salt, fillet them under cold running water, discarding bones and washing away excess salt. Cut anchovy fillets into 1-inch pieces. Add the tomatoes to the pan, then the olives, anchovies, capers and tomato paste. Mix well and season to taste with salt, pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of cold water to a boil, add coarse salt to taste, then add the pasta and cook until al dente, for 9 to 12 minutes depending on the brand. Drain the pasta, place it in a large bowl, pour the sauce over, and mix well. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

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