The first time I made Pasta Puttanesca was from a stolen recipe. I still feel bad about it. Cos it wasn’t just a stolen recipe, it was stolen from Jamie Oliver. This is a good 7-8 years back. Someone had got hold of a digital version of his new cookbook before it got published. It got sent around and I was one of the (un)lucky ones to receive it. I remember scrolling through it feeling rather queasy. I wasn’t suppose to read this. But then I thought, I got this by a chance and it was too late anyway so what harm would it do if I tried one dish, maybe one of the easier one. So I chose Pasta Puttanesca. I am not sure I liked it that much the first time, thinking it was rather bitter. However over the years I have developed my own Puttanesca recipe and it has a lovely combination of salty, spicy and sweet flavours. It’s one of those dishes you always can make when your fridge is gaping empty as most ingredients comes from pots or tins.
I kept the stolen cookbook for a while but never cooked anything else from it. I also didn’t by the original version when it hit the stores. Thinking about it now, I probably should have…

Serves 4
500g spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp red chili flakes
1,5 tbsp capers
10 small anchovy fillets
100g black olives
2 cans (800g) chopped tomatoes
black pepper
grated parmesan cheese
shredded basil

Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package. Drain and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil on medium heat in a skillet. Gently sauté the garlic and chili flakes for a minute. Add the capers, anchovies and olives. Stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Season with black pepper. Add the drained pasta to the sauce. Combine with wooden spoons. Serve with the grated parmesan cheese and basil.
If you prefer you could use fresh tomatoes intead of out of a can. And rather than basil, parsley or oregano is really tasty too.