This simple Spaghetti Puttanesca is my go-to recipe whenever I crave a hot meal but don’t have anything in my fridge or simply don’t feel like cooking. Within twenty minutes, you can have a healthy meal on the table without having to go grocery shopping. Over the years, this has meant that I always have the ingredients in my pantry, which is totally possible as the only fresh ingredient is the parsley on top. So the next time you are in a supermarket, buy yourself some capers, olives, anchovy and a can of diced tomatoes. You’ll thank yourself later.

Tips and tricks

I often make the recipe with the measurements given, which is one huge serving or two smaller ones. You can make it into a full meal for two by serving some bread and salad. If you have friends coming over and want to scale up the recipe, I recommend doubling it for three people or tripling it for a small dinner party. Of course, you could also save some for the next day; mix the pasta and sauce and put it in the fridge. This way the pasta won’t dry out when reheated.

This recipe contains one tricky ingredient: anchovy. Although it is one of the main flavor elements, some people refuse to eat it (like my little brother). Sometimes you can get away with simply not telling, what they don’t know doesn’t hurt them. But if you have some vegan or vegetarian friends over, you can leave the anchovy out and add some salt and pepper or substitute it with a few chopped mushrooms.

Spaghetti Puttanesca

  • Prep Time:2 minutes
  • Cook Time:13 minutes
  • Total Time:15 minutes
  • Servings:1-2 servings
  • Easy


  • 150 gram spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 25 gram anchovy
  • 50 gram capers
  • 100 gram kalamata olives
  • Fresh parsley
Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 1

    Start boiling water for the pasta. This way the pasta will be ready at the same time as the sauce.

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 2

    Chop the garlic and heat it with some olive oil, oregano and chili flakes in a sauce pan (or big frying pan).

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 3

    Drain the olives and capers.

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 4

    Add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Don’t break it, but slowly stir until fully under water.

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 5

    Add the diced tomatoes to the spices and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 6

    Chop up the anchovy.

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 7

    Add the anchovy, olives and capers to the sauce and let it simmer for a couple more minutes.

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 8

    Taste the pasta and drain when done. It should be done approximately after 10 minutes of cooking, but check the packaging for the exact time.

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer
  • Step 9

    Serve with a nice glass of wine and some fresh parsley on top.

    Photo by Wendy Nieuwkamer