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Pasta Puttanesca

The whole point about this sauce is that it should be a strong tasting, punchy kind of

sauce where all the ingredients are absolutely present – by which I mean that you

should be able to taste each one individually and as a whole. Named after the ladies of

the night of Rome, it has a certain vulgarity about it – it's not meant to be subtle, and yet

there is a real skill in making sure the flavours are all present and balanced.


- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

- 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 6 anchovy fillets (either salted or canned in oil, rinsed and dried – please note that if they are salted, it is best to rinse them in milk to reduce the saltiness a little, and theymay need a bit of trimming)

- 1 small hot dried red chili pepper, chopped finely

- 1½ heaped tablespoon rinsed and dried, roughly chopped salted capers (or drained and rinsed capers in brine)

- 600 ml best quality passata

- Very large pinch dried oregano

- Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

- 300 ml white wine

- Handful of de-stoned black olives

- Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

- Extra oil for dressing


1. Fry the garlic and half oil together with the anchovy fillets and the dried chili pepper, stirring until the anchovy dissolves into a puree. Remove the garlic and discard.

2. Add the capers and the passata and stir together really thoroughly. Simmer for a few minutes, and then add the oregano, seasoning, and wine. Allow the alcohol in the wine to boil off for about two minutes, and then reduce the heat, stir and leave to simmer gently for at least 15 minutes, and then finally add the olives. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

3. Serve over freshly cooked pasta, traditionally spaghetti or penne, tossed

together with a little extra olive oil and a generous handful of freshly chopped

flat leaf parsley.


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