Serves 4, 10mins Preparation, 25mins Cooking

In Italian, a puttanesca is a 'lady of the night', which is why at home we always refer to this recipe as tart's spaghetti. Presumably the sauce has adopted this name because it's hot, strong and gutsy – anyway, eating it is a highly pleasurable experience.


• 40ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, chopped • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped • 75g pitted green olives, sliced • 75g pitted black olives, sliced • 6 semi-dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips • 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed • 425g can diced tomatoes • 400g spaghetti • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded • Grated parmesan, to serve


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan. 
  2. Add garlic and Chilli and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. 
  3. Add the olives, semi-dried tomatoes, capers and diced tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  4. Season with pepper. 
  5. Cook pasta according to packet directions.
  6. Drain and return to pan. 
  7. Add sauce and basil and toss together. 
  8. Serve sprinkled with parmesan.

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