Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

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  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar tomato basil sauce
  • 1 (6-ounce) can pitted black or green olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, olives and capers to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has reduced slightly, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir in parsley and balsamic vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and toss with sauce. Serve with grated cheese.

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