Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca


Determined to make a recipe out of my fabulous new Audrey Hepburn cookbook for dinner tonight, I chose her Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca. This cookbook is a wonderful book that her son, Luca Dotti wrote. If you are at all a fan of Audrey Hepburn, I highly recommend ordering this fantastic book. The stories that come with each recipe are really enjoyable to read. You feel like you get to know Audrey a little bit more through her family’s eyes and you get a bit of a sneak peak into her glamorous life and her everyday life.


I actually found my copy of this book at Home Goods, but I’ve looked on-line at Amazon and they also have it. I think my sister, Cherie, might enjoy it, so I was checking to make sure I could find it somewhere other than Home Goods (since I bought the only copy at my local Home Goods store).

Here is a glimpse of the story on her Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca.


The picture above shows Audrey with her husband and their son, outside his school in Rome. Isn’t this a great picture? All the pictures in this book are fabulous.

The following picture is the page after her recipe, which shows her handwritten note on the ingredients she needed for this recipe.

Finally, here is the recipe for Audrey’s wonderful Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca.


Following are some pictures of the sauce while I was cooking it.

I then added my cooked spaghetti directly to the pan and tossed it, adding a bit of grated parmesan before doing so.



This may actually be my new favorite pasta dish. I really enjoyed it! It would be a fabulous dinner for me to make when I’m hosting my Thursday night book club. There are several vegetarians in the group and I think they would love this dish as well.

This spaghetti was so quick to make. Audrey mentions that in the book (in her notes that her son added). It looked really special while I was putting it together, like something I’d definitely want to serve to guests, but took no time at all.

Following are the ingredients and directions for this dish, all in Audrey’s words.


2 anchovy fillets

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for finishing

Handful black olives, coarsely chopped

Handful green olives, coursely chopped

12 salted capers, rinsed and left whole

1 clove garlic, cut in half

Crushed red pepper flakes, or splash Tabasco to taste

1 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

1 pound spaghetti or linguini

6 basil leaves, shredded by hand


In a large sauté pan over high heat, melt the anchovies with the oil, then add the olives, the capers, the garlic, and the red pepper flakes. Briefly sauté for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes, crushing them with a wood spoon. Let the sauce cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it forms a dense puree (5-10 minutes, depending on the quality of your tomatoes). Turn off the heat leaving the sauce in the pan.

In a large pot, cook the pasta in abundant boiling, salted water. Drain the pasta when it is al dente; add the pasta to the pan with the sauce and toss, over a high heat, to incorporate. Remove the pan from the heat, drizzle on a bit of olive oil and the basil, and serve.


Until next time, Kris


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