Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Literally translated this old Italian dish would be Prostitute Pasta. So we’ll stick with the Italian spelling of our Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, which rolls so much nicer off the tongue!

Regardless of how you pronounce it, this deliciously tangy sauce consists of olives, garlic, capers, hot pepper and anchovies (although in the Neapolitan version anchovies are omitted).


Don’t be scared of anchovies – they add a wonderful salty and rich flavor. Once they are finely chopped then mashed up beyond all recognition, you won’t even know they’re in there! For the tomatoes, use whole tomatoes and crush them up with your hands. This may seem like extra work – when you could just buy diced tomatoes, but the texture of hand-crushed tomatoes is so much better. Just be sure to remove the little bits of core.PastaPuttanesca2

Once everything has been added, simmer it all down until its turned into a thick sauce. You can always add some of the reserved pasta water if you want to thin the sauce out again.PastaPuttanesca3

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss gently with the sauce.PastaPuttanesca1


Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Marla Hingley
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4


  • GF spaghetti


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets finely chopped (1 Tbsp)
  • ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz whole tomatoes crushed by hand (this gives a better texture than using crushed tomatoes)
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp capers rinsed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or marjoram
  • Pepper to taste


  • Boil pasta in salted water until done to your likeness. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water if needed, then drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat then add garlic, stirring until golden. Add anchovies, and pepper flakes, stirring for another minute.
  • Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce has thickened. Add the remaining ingredients as well as 1 Tbsp of oil. If sauce is too thick, add a bit of reserved pasta water.
  • Add cooked pasta and toss well.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
See also
Creamy Pumpkin & Rosemary Penne


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  1. Dear Glutenfrree Club ! Not only have I tried and enjoyed so many of your recipes BUT you have made it so easy and trouble free to instantly find the actual recipe, the lovely pics, and so simple to understand instructions ! No need to follow a maze of confusing directions just to find the actual recipe !! For a still somewhat novice Internet user like myself, this is truly appreciated ! Thank-you so much !! Very sincerely, Christa

  2. Hello. I wondered if this recipe would be great using a alfredo sauce instead. Individual cannot eat tomatoes. Thank you. I think I’ll try it for others in the family for sure! Maureen

  3. All of the other ingredients are quite acidic, so I don’t think they would meld very well with a cream sauce. If you’re looking for something creamy with a unique combination of ingredients try our Pasta Senese.

  4. Thank you so much for letting us know! We are always trying to find new ways to improve the website (and create tasty new recipes), so it’s great to hear that we are ‘hitting the mark’. Thanks again, and have a great day!

  5. Sorry about that! I ran out of oregano so I substituted it with marjoram. You can use whichever you like (1 tsp).

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