Slut’s Spaghetti from Nigella Lawson

Nigella could do or say anything and I’d go for it. Luckily, this recipe from cheeky Nigella is delicious. It’s her version of pasta alla puttanesca, and it’s got a bite! I love the saltiness that works perfectly with the spaghetti, and the light sauce is perfect for a simple meal. I heartily recommend it.

Slut’s Spaghetti

Source: Nigella Lawson


3 tablespoons olive oil

8 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced, crushed or grated 

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or 1 to 2 tablespoons jarred or canned jalapeno peppers (preferably red), drained, sliced, and diced, or to taste 


1 pound spaghetti

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 1/4 cups chopped drained pitted black olives

2 tablespoons small capers, well rinsed and drained

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish, optional

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water, for the pasta, to a boil over medium heat, though you don’t need to get started on the sauce until the water is pretty well boiling.
  2. Pour the oil into a wide, shallowish frying pan, Dutch oven, or wok, and put it over medium heat.
  3. Add the anchovies and cook for about 3 minutes, pressing and pushing with a wooden spoon, until the anchovies have almost “melted”. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes or jalapenos and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  4. This is probably the stage at which you will want to salt the boiling water and adding the spaghetti to cook, following the package instructions.
  5. Going back to the sauce, add the tomatoes, olives, and capers to the pot with the anchovies and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and again, by which time it will have thickened slightly. Taste for seasoning.
  6. Just before the pasta is ready, remove and reserve about an espresso cupful of cooking water.
  7. When the pasta is cooked as desired, drain and add the spaghetti to the tomato sauce, adding a little reserved pasta water, if needed, to help amalgamate the sauce. Scatter with chopped parsley, if there’s some to hand, and serve in slatternly style, preferably with an unfiltered cigarette clamped between crimson-painted lips.
  8. Make Ahead Note:
  9. The sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Transfer the sauce to a nonmetallic bowl to cool, then cover and refrigerate as soon as possible. Reheat gently in large saucepan, frying pan, or wok, stirring occasionally, until piping hot.
  10. Freeze Note:
  11. The cooled sauce can be frozen in a resealable container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as above.

One thought on “Slut’s Spaghetti from Nigella Lawson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s