Angela Hartnett's spaghetti alla puttanesca

For her second cook, Angela’s creating a store-cupboard meal that has all the hallmarks of southern Italian food: chilli, tomato and olive oil - with an interesting story to match.

Puttanesca translates as 'lady of the night' - so the story goes that this classic Sicilian dish takes as long to cook as it does the lady to take care of her clients!  Either way, Angela says it tastes delicious!  


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 x tin of plum tomatoes

375g spaghetti

Dried chilli 

10 black olives (good quality Nicoise)

10 anchovies 

Flat-leaf parsley to garnish

Freshly milled salt and pepper 


1. In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil, add the onion and garlic and sauté without letting them colour

2. Add the tinned tomatoes, season with freshly milled salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes, until it becomes a nice thick sauce

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water, according to the packet instructions (normally about 12 minutes) until al dente

4. While the pasta is cooking, add the chilli, black olives and anchovies to the tomato sauce

5. Drain the pasta well, toss in with the sauce and finish with the chopped flat-leaf parsley. Finally, check the seasoning and serve.