Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals: Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca recipe

Spaghetti all puttanesca, garlic bread & ganache

This dish was at the top of my "must cook" list from the 30 Minute Meals book, mainly because of the anchovies and olives. Colin wasn’t quite as enthused but regardless of whether you're an anchovy fan or not, it's a brilliant recipe.

As with all the dishes I’ve cooked that contain anchovies (Summer Veg Lasagne, Baked Cannelloni) there was no overwhelming taste of fishiness but if you’d prefer to leave them out then add a few more capers.

The garlic bread tastes fantastic and it’s almost unbelievable that it contains no butter. I’ve made it many times since to go with other dishes.

This dish works well with white or wholewheat spaghetti and is mainly made from store cupboard ingredients; convenient if you haven’t been shopping in a while.

Note: Jamie Oliver’s version of the puttanesca contains a few fresh ingredients like parsley and lemon but I’ve cooked the dish without them and it still tastes wonderful.


Serves: 4


  • 500g dried spaghetti
  • small can tuna in olive oil
  • small tin anchovies in olive oil (approx 30g)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs capers, drained
  • 1-2 fresh red chilis
  • 1 handful pitted black olives
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • a pinch ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon

Garlic Bread

  • ciabatta loaf
  • small handful fresh parsley
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • 200g plain chocolate (min.70% cocoa solids)
  • knob butter
  • 300ml single cream
  • 3 clementines
  • a pinch salt
  • Biscuits for dipping


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) and fill and boil the kettle. Place a large frying pan on a low heat and fill a saucepan with the boiled water and a pinch of salt.
  2. Garlic ciabatta: Slice the ciabatta three quarters deep, making cuts at 2cm intervals, and then finely chop the parsley. Scrunch up a large piece of greaseproof paper and dampen it under a tap. Open it up on a flat surface, oil it and place the bread on top. Sprinkle the parsley over the top with a pinch of salt and pepper and then pour over a generous drizzle of olive oil. Crush 2-4 garlic cloves on top and then smear the mixture over the bread, making sure it gets inside all of the incisions. Finally, wrap the bread up in the greaseproof paper and put it into the oven to cook for around 20 minutes.
  3. Chocolate ganache: Place a large heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan with the boiling water (making sure that the water doesn't touch the bowl). Break up the chocolate and place it in the bowl, along with the butter, cream, a pinch of salt and the grated zest of one clementine. Give everything a good stir and leave it to melt.
  4. Spaghetti: Put the spaghetti into the saucepan and cook it according to the instructions on the packet. Pour the oil from the tuna into the frying pan and then crush the garlic, adding it to the frying pan along with the capers, anchovies and their oil (don't be alarmed if it looks like there is a lot of oil).
  5. Chop the chilis (seeds optional) and stalks from the parsley then add them to the frying pan. Chop the parsley leaves and put them to one side. Once the garlic starts to get a little colour, add the tuna, breaking it up a little, then add the olives, tinned tomatoes, a pinch of cinnamon and some black pepper.
  6. Chocolate ganache: The chocolate should have melted by now so remove it from the heat and give it a good stir. Decant the mixture into small pots or espresso cups, then halve the remaining clementines and put them on a board along with the ganache. Take them to the dinner table then check on the bread.
  7. Spaghetti: Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and reserve some of the water. Add the pasta to the frying pan, then squeeze over the juice of a lemon and add most of the parsley, mixing well. If the sauce feels very thick add some of the reserved spaghetti water to loosen it up. Pour the spaghetti into a large bowl and finish with the remaining parsley.
  8. Garlic ciabatta: Remove the bread from the oven and then take it to the table along with the spaghetti. Enjoy with a bottle of red wine.