QUICK LINK - Click here to buy Ultimate Irish Cooking Course
Home All Courses TY Students Gift Voucher Recipe Corporate TYCO Shop Now Login

Store Cupboard Pasta - any night of the week!


Spaghetti alla puttanesca is the ultimate fast food dish!  An iconic dish from the city of Naples, Italy.  The pasta is dressed in a rich and flavourful sauce which can be made in less time than it takes to boil a pot of linguine, spaghetti or any pasta you choose.  The basic ingredients are pantry staples including tinned tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, olives and capers.  I like to add thinly sliced carrots and since this dish should be salty, piquant and hot. and you can add extra heat with the addition of crushed chillies (another of my store cupboard favourites).

My top tip when cooking pasta, is to always use plenty of water, plenty of salt and keep the pasta on a rolling boil (not splashing!), lid off.

Because anchovies are quite salty it is unlikely that salt will be required but black pepper and perhaps a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity of tinned tomatoes will suffice as seasoning.

It is such a simple, cheap and delicious recipe.  You'll wish you found this recipe years ago!

PASTA PUTTANESCA                                                                                             
Serves 4

350g dried pasta
Puttanesca sauce
Olive oil
1 carrot
1 onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, crushed
1 small tin anchovy fillets
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 x 400g  tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar, to season
50g capers
100g pitted black olives
1 small bunch basil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions (cook, 10 mins in boiling salted water).
  2. For the Puttanesca sauce, thinly slice carrots into discs. Finely dice onion and crush garlic.
  3. In a heavy based saucepan add olive oil, vegetables, onion and sweat off for 3-4 mins without colouring. 
  1. Add crushed garlic and anchovy fillets and cook for a few seconds.
  2. Add tomato purée and the tinned tomatoes. Add half the herbs. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the capers and olives.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning with sugar, salt and pepper.
  5. Quickly toss pasta through sauce and portion onto pasta plates.  Garnish with basil leaves.


You can vary the recipe above to create your own signature pasta sauce with simple changes. Instead of anchovies, you can substitute bacon, chorizo, sundried tomatoes, jalapeno peppers or chilli. You can also add tinned tuna to this dish for added protein!


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.