Danielle Campbell's Spicy Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, Los Angeles-based chef Danielle Campbell shares her recipe for spicy spaghetti alla puttanesca.

Invented in Naples in the mid-20th century, spaghetti alla puttanesca was designed to lure customers to restaurants with its powerful aroma. Danielle Campbell's recipe for the Italian classic follows the traditional method and boasts the much-loved sharp and punchy flavors that make this dish an enticing and favourite meal for many

Those who love a salty snack will salivate at the ingredients list which consists of anchovies, capers, and two kinds of olives in a rich tomato sauce. Topped with parsley for freshness and parmesan for added bite, this pasta dish is balanced, bright, and downright delicious.

What's even better is that it's quick and easy to whip up, making it a great recipe for a mid-week meal or dinner party

Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
  • 3 tbsp capers, rinsed 
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and halved 
  • 1/2 cup Sicilian green olives, pitted and halved 
  • 1 Serrano chili, minced (optional)
  • 4 anchovies (optional)
  • 830g whole tomatoes, crushed 
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced 
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Pepper
  • 450g spaghetti


Heat olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.

Add garlic and cook until softened, approximately 2 mins.

Add capers, olives, chilli, and anchovy. Cook until anchovies start to dissolve, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and oregano.

Simmer over medium low heat until thickened, approximately 20 minutes. 

Season with salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Cook pasta to package instructions for al dente.



Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain.

Add pasta to sauce and toss to coat adding small amounts of pasta water to loosen sauce. 

Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Serve with fresh grated parmesan. 


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