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Serves: 2 people

Ready In: 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Recipe Summary:

This Mediterranean flavour bomb is one of my all-time favourite camp cooks! It’s simple enough to carry on every bike trip, you can find the ingredients easily & it’s outrageously delicious.

The story of how Puttanesca got its name is an interesting one. During World War II, many Italian women had to resort to prostitution to makes ends meet. They would work long hours & needed a simple but flavourful dish that featured ingredients local to their region of Naples. Putanna is the name for a "whore" in Italian, and so pasta puttanesa was born - Whore's Pasta!

My version has two alternatives - pescatarian (with anchovies) and vegan/vegetarian (without). Both feature a rich tomato sauce, spiked with unctuous olives, sharp capers & chilli heat to make your end of day meal - that little bit special.


  • 200g Pasta – I like spaghetti, but penne & fusilli work well too
  • 1/2 a jar of capers (in brine)
  • A handful of olives (black or green)
  • 4-5 anchovies (optional if not Vegan)
  • 60g tomato paste (or 1/3rd of a tube)
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Fill your largest pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add your pasta & cook for half the packet instructed time on high heat.
  3. Remove from the heat, chuck a lid on top and allow to cook in the hot water until al-dente.
  4. Grab your second pan/pot add the anchovies + their oil and fry until they start to dissolve (Leave this step out if vegetarian/vegan).
  5. Add the tomato paste and allow to fry for 30 seconds or until it starts to become shiny and deep.
  6. Add your capers and olives, plus a couple of splashs of the brine they’re in.
  7. Drain the pasta and reserve 200ml of the pasta water.
  8. Add 100-150ml of the pasta water to the tomato, olive & caper mixture to make the sauce.
  9. Add as much chilli as you can take.
  10. Add the cooked & drained pasta.
  11. Stir, mix & toss the pasta to emulsify.
  12. Season with salt ‘n’ pepper & extra chilli if you’re feeling naughty!

To serve: Simply eat straight from the pot, or spoon out into individual bowls. 


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