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Cheat’s Puttanesca

Sometimes, cheating isn’t so bad. This sauce is the perfect example of that. I first tried spaghetti puttanesca when I was around 14 in a local family run Italian restaurant and absolutely hated it! I didn’t like the olives, the bittiness (is that even a real word?) and the lack of sloppy sauciness… but I blame that once again on being a northerner.

Puttanesca comes from the word puttana in Italian which means whore, some say it came about as it was a quick sauce and meal that could be made between clients and others say its a slang term that was used in the same way we use the word sh*t, as in a bunch of sh*t from the cupboard thrown into a pan.***         

Once 14 year old me found out the supposed origin and meaning of the word obviously I had to try it again, thanks to a combination of my juvenile sense of humour and unapologetically determined nature or stubborn if you ask JB. 

I didn’t like it a third or fourth time but by dish 5 I was sold. It’s a great batch cook sauce, freezes well for meals in a hurry and is good at breakfast, lunch or dinner. 


INGREDIENTS – makes enough for 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion
1 medium chilli
3 cloves garlic
100g black olives
3 anchovies 
1 carton passata or tin of chopped tomatoes 
1 tsp oregano
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Black pepper to season

1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth
2. Transfer the sauce to a pan and simmer on a medium heat for at least 15 minutes adding a splash of water to stop it thickening too much
3. Taste and season with black pepper, if freezing wait until the sauce has cooled down before bagging and freezing.

Serve as desired and enjoy : ) x

***Origins of puttanesca


Published by Bea's Bites Online

Hi! I'm Bea, I am a food teacher at a secondary school. I live just outside Manchester and all its foodie offerings. This is my blog Bea's Bites Online, I'll be posting all about food and drink with an added smattering of travel. I am lucky enough to have grown up with a variety of influences, my mum is from Zimbabwe, my dad is from Ghana and I grew up in a village in the North West, so food has always been a blend and balance of cultures for me. From being little, food has played a large part in our family, whether it be for celebrations, commiserations or comfort. I began helping out in the kitchen from a young age and was fortunate enough to be given the reigns on occasion from the age of 11. I love being in the kitchen and having the opportunity to create something to make others smile. Whether it be an autumnal main or a gooey dessert :) I am a total believer in happy eating. Food should put a smile on your face no whether it's a weekday, after work dinner or a special occasion. I love following recipes and do think it is sometimes a necessity but I also think that food should be personal and geared towards what you like and I hope this comes across in my blog. I hope you enjoy reading my posts, let me know if you stop by, it will definitely put a smile on my face! Please don't hesitate to get in touch, my email is: If you have any posts you'd like to see then please feel free to email me and I'll do my best : ) Bea x

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