Spaghetti Puttanesca (Spaghetti With Capers, Olives, and Anc

3 servings


20 minutes

total time


6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced or finely chopped by hand (see note)

4 to 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons)

Large pinch red pepper flakes

1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped (about 2 ounces; 60g) (see note)

1/4 cup chopped pitted black olives (about 2 ounces; 60g) (see note)

1 cup (225g) whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, roughly broken up by hand (about half a 14-ounce can)

One 5-ounce (140g) can oil-packed tuna (optional)

Kosher salt

8 ounces (225g) dried spaghetti

Small handful minced fresh parsley leaves

1 ounce (30g) finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Freshly ground black pepper


In a medium skillet, combine 4 tablespoons (60ml) oil, garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until garlic is very lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling.) Add capers and olives and stir to combine.

Add tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring to a bare simmer. If using, stir in canned tuna, flaking it gently with a fork. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, 12-inch sauté pan, or large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water, cook spaghetti until just shy of al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions.

Using tongs, transfer pasta to sauce. Alternatively, drain pasta through a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add drained pasta to sauce.

Add a few tablespoons of pasta water to sauce and set over medium-high heat to bring pasta and sauce to a vigorous simmer. Cook, stirring and shaking the pan and adding more pasta water as necessary to keep sauce loose, until pasta is perfectly al dente, 1 to 2 minutes longer. (The pasta will cook more slowly in the sauce than it did in the water.) Remove from heat and stir in remaining olive oil, parsley, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper (be generous with the pepper and scant with the salt—the dish will be plenty salty from the other ingredients). Serve immediately with more grated cheese at the table.


Serving Size

Serves 2 to 3


635 kcal

Total Fat

36 g

Saturated Fat

6 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



15 mg


1051 mg

Total Carbohydrate

63 g

Dietary Fiber

5 g

Total Sugars

4 g


16 g

3 servings


20 minutes

total time
Start Cooking