Although I love cooking, I’m also a big fan of easy, quick cooking. Because, at the end of a long working day, I just don’t have the energy or patience to trawl through a complicated recipe that takes a lot of time. I save those for the weekend where I can take my time and enjoy the process. During the week, I just want something tasty that I can eat really quickly.


One of my absolute favourite dishes to make which ticks the easy and quick box is my take on spaghetti puttanesca.


Puttanesca sauce normally should contain olives, but I tend to leave those out. Mainly because they’re quite expensive for a little jar and because I don’t think the recipe is missing much if you do miss them out. The sauce without them is just so tasty that I don’t mind skimping. If you do want to add them to this, then just add a handful of olives to the sauce for the last 2 minutes.


Ingredients (for 2 people):

– 200g spaghetti (we use basics which costs 29p a packet)

– tin of chopped tomatoes

– tin of anchovies (I get the ones with garlic and herbs in, for added flavour)

– 1 tsp garlic puree

– 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

– 3 tbsps capers


Cook the spaghetti according to the packet. In a frying pan, add some oil from the anchovies, then discard the rest of the oil. Add the anchovies and fry for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. Add the garlic, capers, chilli flakes and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the spaghetti then add the sauce – done!


This should take around 12 minutes from start to plate – what more could you ask for? It’s tasty and quick. The anchovies break down in the sauce so you don’t really eat any fish, but it gives a great depth of flavour to the sauce. I’m normally quite generous with the capers as both me and my husband love these. Also, because it’s a relatively simple dish, the cost is minimal for a main meal.


spaghetti puttanesca

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