Pasta Puttanesca

For me this is the King of robust, hearty and bold pasta sauces - it's meaty without containing any meat and has enough of a kick to give it some personality without being fiery.  Beware of poor imitations ...... too many tomatoes and not enough of anything else - you have been warned!

Inspired by Delia Smith


  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 x 50g (2oz) jars of anchovies in oil – chop the anchovies with scissors and reserve the oil
  • 350g (12oz) pitted black olives, finely chopped
  • 2 large, red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 900g (2lb) tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 heaped tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 bunch fresh basil – save a few leaves for garnish and finely chop the rest of the leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish


  1. Add all the ingredients, including the oil from the anchovies, to a medium saucepan. Season with pepper but no salt at this stage.
  2. Combine everything thoroughly and then let the sauce simmer on the hob very gently without a lid for 40 minutes. By this time it will have reduced to a lovely thick mass, with very little liquid left.
  3. Serve with your favourite pasta (reserving a little of the pasta cooking water and stirring it into the sauce just before serving) and sprinkled with shavings of Parmesan and the reserved basil leaves.

Keywords: easy, family, storecupboard