icon Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
(Whores' Spaghetti)

from Pizzeria da Luigi, Bangkok
Sugo Alla Puttanesca is a spicy, tangy and somewhat salty sauce, typically served with spahetti. The ingredients are inexpensive, easy to find and typically Mediterranean: garlic, diced onions, anchovies, chopped chile peppers, black olives, capers and diced tomatoes.

Several different theories exist explaining the origins of the name. We like best the one from our friend Luigi, the owner of Pizzeria da Luigi in Bangkok. According to him, this is an old Roman recipe, created in whorehouses frequented by Roman senators, cooked and eaten by the ladies inbetween clients.


  • 1 lb dry spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 35-oz can imported italian plum tomatoes, crushed with their juices
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 12 large green olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp of oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and anchovy, cook until garlic is lightly browned.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes along with their juices. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Add capers, olives, oregano, black pepper, and 1/2 cup of water. Cook at a simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti al dente in lightly salted water.
  5. Drain pasta, toss with sauce and serve.
  6. YIELD: Serves 4.

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Last updated: October 12, 2010