Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca (0007) by Meeta K. Wolff

I’m packing again! This time I’m off to Florence and as much as I would love to say it’s for play and shopping, it’s not. I am afraid I won’t be able to take in much of the sights of my beloved city this time. I’ve always had somewhat of a love affair with this city. Florence, a city I visited for the first time when I was a starry eyed 16 year old teenager accompanying my dad who had the ability to engage me with his captivating stories and tales. Together we spend several summer vacations touring Italy from coast to coast, but Florence was always in my heart.

I will have to tell you the story of my love affair with this city another day. Today I shall leave you with my favorite Italian pasta dish, while I pack my gear, recite my presentations and finalize the last few bits on our exercises.

This weekend, together with Ilva, Jeanne and Jamie, we’ll be opening the doors to 12 new participants at the second Plate to Page. The backdrop this time is Tuscany in the fascinating city of Pistoia. Over the past several months we spent an amazing amount of time getting the workshop ready and it is hard for me to believe how fast time flew. I am excited, as we have put together an incredible program and I cannot wait to get connected with our 12 participants. We’ll be spending an intensive weekend filled with a lot of hard work, where we hope to share our energy and convey our passion with and to the participants. 

Spaghetti Puttanesca (0005) by Meeta K. Wolff

However, I do think there will a lot more than hard work this weekend. With experience from our Weimar workshop, I know there will be a lot of laughing, joking and bonding. We’ll be cooking, drinking and sharing all our meals together and I cannot wait. Did I say that already?

Did I also say that I cannot wait to see my fabulous colleagues and dearest friends Ilva, Jamie and Jeanne again? Well that is a big added extra bonus with the Plate to Page Workshops. These ladies rock my world each day and their unconditional support is unparalleled and rare in this superficial world. So – yeah – I cannot wait for this weekend to get rolling already.

Spaghetti Puttanesca (0011) by Meeta K. Wolff

So, while I head to Italy I leave you licking your forks with this Italian pasta dish. It’s not any pasta dish that I leave you with. It’s Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. In my opinion probably the most spirited and flavorful pasta of all. Literally it means “whore’s style spaghetti” and has all the heritage of good southern Italian cooking. The sugo is bold and gutsy providing a salty, piquant and fiery combination. The flavors of tangy tomatoes and capers, salty notes from anchovies and olives and the heat from the chilli will explode in your mouth.

Spaghetti Puttanesca (0003) by Meeta K. Wolff  

Recipe: Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Printable version of recipe here

 Spaghetti alla Puttanesca by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 800g large ripe Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 8-10 anchovy filets, chopped
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100g green olives
  • 500g spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Maldon’s smoked sea salt and freshly cracked pepper


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large pan, sauté the garlic and the chilli flakes for a quick minute. Add the chopped anchovies and cook for another few minutes until the anchovies begin to disintegrate.

  2. Turn up the heat and add the chopped tomatoes, bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes.

  3. In the meantime cook pasta according to instructions on the packet.

  4. When the sauce is ready add the olives and capers. Taste to check the saltiness of the dish then season with a good pinch of the smoked sea salt and pepper.

  5. Finally add the cherry tomatoes and then toss the sauce with the drained pasta.


Spaghetti Puttanesca (00013) by Meeta K. Wolff

There is nothing elegant about this dish, but there is everything downright scrumptious to it. It’s simply the best standby meal, ready in minutes with ingredients you are sure to have in your pantry. Do not be timid with the sugo. Add as much heat as you can take and any kind of pasta works with it. In my version I used a good sprinkling of smoked sea salt and add a handful of fresh ripe cherry tomatoes.

Open up a bottle of wine and enjoy!

If you could not make it to our second From Plate to Page Workshop in Tuscany, you can join us live on Twitter via the hashtag #plate2page or our Facebook page. For all workshop details as well as updates and news on all future workshops, please visit our Plate to Page website and sign up for e-mail alerts! Don’t miss anything!

Also on the Plate to Page website blog we are currently featuring three guest posts in our on-going series of talented professional food stylists, photographers and writers. This month, Cape Town food writer and journalist Sam Woulidge, Chicago-based Prop Stylist Paula Walters and Seattle-based food stylist and photographer Kelly Cline each share their personal and professional journey as well as thoughts, insights and advice on each of their professions. Must reads!

I’d also like to wish all my fellow Indian readers a huge Happy Diwali! Hope you celebrate the day with a bang and enjoy a sweet filled day!

See you all next week!

You might like these pasta ideas from WFLH:

Fettuccine with Spicy Lamb Sausage Meatballs in a Piquant Tomato Sauce Tagliatelle in Creamy Saffron Sauce and Serrano Ham Buckwheat Linguine with Aubergine and Mango

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Absolutely gorgeous Meeta!! I am so jealous of your trip to Florence. I have always wanted to go there. Have a fabulous time!

  2. Hi Meeta,
    Lovely recipe and stunning pics.Have a great time

  3. That is one of my all-time favorite pasta sauces! Yours looks marvelous.



  4. Have a wonderful time Meeta and I know you would.

  5. Oh Meeta...wish we were all together again...what a good time we had & ofcourse the learning ;-)..hopefully will see you guyz in London soon!

  6. A thought just popped in to my head... I definitely think you should have a plate to page in Amsterdam at some point in time, don't you think so too? O how I wish I would be there with you guys right now... *deep sigh* I miss you all. Hugs and have a fantastic weekend but I'm sure you will and I'll be following it life through all the tweets!

  7. It sounds like a fun trip and catching up with friends is the most joyful thing. I am sure all the students are early waiting to learn.

  8. Sounds like a very fun trip! Beautiful photos Meeta. I love puttanesca sauce. Very light and refreshing :)

    Happy Diwali :)

  9. A bowl of spaghetti is the absolute comfort food! Have fun at Plate 2 Page! Someday .. someday! :-)

  10. One of my absolute favourite dishes. Have a great Plate 2 Page.

  11. Sounds like the perfect dish to celebrate you trip. Have a great time and say hi to everyone, wish I could meet you all in person one day!

  12. Gorgeous photos!
    I think this recipe might not be so 'outrageous' or difficult but it is just down right delicious and comfort food. You don't need many ingredients to create something amazing!

  13. Food doesn't have to be elegant, It just has to be delicious! And this pasta looks like it is very delicious!

  14. Beautiful post and photos, I so wish I could be there with you...but there will be a next time, I am sure of it. Enjoy!

  15. Oh you guys are going to have so much fun!! :) wish i could be there...wishful thinking.

    lovely lovely pasta and just the way I love 'em.

  16. This is the kind of food my family likes to eat, not elegant, just good. Another lovely post!

  17. Looks awesome. Can't wait to try it out! We have some very nice Italian restaurants serving simple but wholesome pasta where I live but it is always so very gratifying to make delicious stuff on your own!

  18. Yum! Sounds great! Can't wait to give this a try :) I love how easy it sounds. Perfect for those crazy weekday nights :)

  19. this is one of my favorite foods i like it i want to eat it.

  20. Oh Meeta! How I've missed your blog as I've been soooo busy and not visiting as often as I should. But what a sign - I have been craving a simple tomato sauce based pasta for THE LONGEST TIME and what should I see when I click on here. Something I'd like to eat by the pot-ful at this point in time! I hope you've been well, Florence is on my wishlist and I hear your events are going splendidly!


  21. Puttanesca, what a great idea! Have a few pantry items I can use- olives, tuna and capers. Your pictures are beautiful, very atmospheric.

  22. delicious looking inviting
    1st time here nice space .do visit my site

  23. Mmmm, putanesca sauce is fab - it's Nick's favourite along with Arrabiata! Was so awesome to see you and be your roomie this weekend at Plate to Page! ;o)


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.