Friday, 29 May 2015

Rigatoni alla puttanesca

Puttanesca is one of my favorite pasta sauces without meat.  So much going on with the combination of tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers and many more wonderful ingredients...



  • Half a white onion and 4 large cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 x Tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives diced
  • 1 tblsp capers drained and rinsed
  • 6-8 anchovy fillets (take out the backbone...)
  • 1/2 cup sweet white wine
  • 2 x cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tblsp of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of basil leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 red chili finely chopped (and remove the seeds).
  • 1 tsp of cracked pepper (and more to garnish)
  • 1/2 cup of grated or shredded parmesan cheese to garnish
  • 1/4 cup parsely finely chopped (and more to garnish)
  • 500g pack of rigatoni and salt for the water


  1. Saute the onions and garlic in heated oil in a heavy based skillet for a few minutes on low heat
  2. Add the white wine and let it cook off for a few minutes infusing the onions and garlic
  3. Add the olives, capers and anchovies and simmer for a minute or two.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes, sugar, basil leaves and pepper and increase the heat until it simmers.
  5. Stir in the water, cover with the lid and stir every 5-10 mins. 
  6. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken over the course of one hour.  
  7. After 30 mins boil water with 1 tbls salt in a large saucepan.  Add the rigatoni.
  8. Stir the pasta every few minutes.  It should be ready in 15-20 minutes (taste to check).
  9. Drain the pasta and once the sauce is done combine the pasta with the sauce
  10. Cook together for a minute or two stirring in some chopped parsely.
  11. Serve with parmesan cheese and cracked pepper, garnish with fresh parsely.


The ingredients in this dish are very powerful.   You'll notice I didn't add any extra salt to the sauce.  There is plenty of saltiness in the anchovies.  If you are not a fan of the vinegar-like taste of capers, reduce the quantity or leave them out altogether.  You may find the sugar offsets the vinegar, so frequently taste the sauce to ensure the taste is as your pallette desires...

Serve with your choice of shiraz.  Plenty of good Australian wines that I can suggest if you're not sure.


Rigatoni combined with the puttanesca
Work in progress...


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