hubbard's puttanesca

serves 3
preparation time
30 minutes
cooking time
20 minutes


  • 3 large or 4 medium (ripe) tomatoes
  • 3 eyebrows (aka anchovies), big fat ones
  • 3 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic (finely chopped/crushed)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large heaped cup kalamata olives, pits removed & roughly chopped
  • 80 gm nitrate free prosciutto (6 thin slices)
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 175 grams spaghetti pasta (gluten free if needed)
  • 2 handfuls rocket
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated (or nutritional yeast for dairy free)
  • pepper to taste
  • bottle of vino (optional)


Remove any white clothing, pop on some Pavorootti and crack a nice bottle of Prosecco, Chianti or Nebbiolo. (è tempo di amare)

Clean down the work area immaculately using tons of chemical cleaners, pull ingredients from the fridge (cursing that stupid sliding draw that never pulls out or slides back in) and group together on the kitchen bench-top with the same perfect space between. Line up all required utensils perfectly too.

¾ fill a large pot with water, bring to the boil and turn off. Carefully drop the tomatoes in the water and leave for one minute before removing. Set the tomatoes aside on the chopping board. 

Add a splash of olive oil to the water, bring back to a soft boil and add the pasta. Keep an eye on this separating the pasta with a fork and cooking until “to the tooth” or al dente.

Whilst that pasta is simmering away we can make a start on the whores sauce. 

Slice the tomatoes skin just slightly enabling you to peel them. This can be problematic if the tomato is unripe (you were warned in the ingredients). *Note: this is the only time my wife’s family allows me to peel the skin off any vegetable to eat (skin = anus). Once peeled cut each tomato into eight perfect sized segments and remove the seeds. Throw the seeds and skins in the garden and I promise you will end up with baby tomatoes! (Can create anxiety if you don’t have a green thumb).

I’m lost, where were we……oh yes. Have some more wine! Slice up the left over tomato flesh finely and set aside.

Check that pasta.

Add the evoo to a fry pan and gently bring to the heat. Pop the chopped garlic and eyebrows in the oil early as a heat gauge. You need to be careful here, as you don’t want to burn the garlic and turn it rancid and brown. When the oil starts to lightly simmer the eyebrows will start to dissolve, give them a little moosh and stir around with a wooden spoon. Now add the chopped capers and olives and bring that oil to a simmer. Have some more wine! Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the tomatoes. Give a good seasoning with pepper and pop a lid on the pan. Bring to a soft simmer, cook for 15 mins until tomatoes are broken down, stirring every few minutes and then turn off.

Check that pasta. When its ready (al dente (chuck it against the wall)) turn the water off. I nearly always miss this next important step. Scoop 2 desertspoons of pasta water and set aside.

Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and set aside. Fill and boil the kettle/electric jug.

In another pan (shits getting meesy!), fry the prosciutto quickly until crispy (happens really quickly and smokes the house out), set aside to cool, and then chop into bite size pieces.

Assembly time! Have some wine (you deserve it for getting this far).

½ fill your serving bowls with hot water from the tap (warm bowls gets big wife points). Heat up the sauce in the pan and add the set aside pasta water, prosciutto, chopped parsley and give a quick stir through. 

*Note: I usually grab the parsley fresh from our garden, at night, torch in hand in my jocks. The garden is roadside and I nearly always get caught in the headlights of some random car coming down the road – insert crouching weirdo, not hiding well, in the garden, under lit with mobile phone light.

Pop the cool pasta in a bowl and add some boiling water from the kettle to re heat for a minute and drain well.

Add the pasta to the sauce and stir softly. Drain the serving bowls of water and fill em with the goodness in the pan.

Top with parmesan, rocket and a glug of evoo and serve…….with more wine….if you have any left!