Pilchard puttanesca

Pilchard puttanesca

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 10 mins


Serves 4
Raid the storecupboard and knock up this tomato-based Italian pasta supper in twenty minutes.

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal510
  • fat19g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre5g
  • protein28g
  • salt2g
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  • 300g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 425g can pilchard in tomato sauce



    Pilchards are grown-up herrings, not something quite different and are suitable only to be…

  • 70g pack dried black olive with herbs (we used Crespo), roughly chopped
  • shaved parmesan, to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the onion, garlic and chilli for 3-4 mins to soften. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 min, then add the pilchards with their sauce. Cook, breaking up the fish with a wooden spoon, then add the olives and continue to cook for a few more mins.

  2. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with 2-3 tbsp of the cooking water. Toss everything together well, then divide between plates and serve, scattered with Parmesan.

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Comments, questions and tips

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gayelizabeth's picture
16th Apr, 2020
This was extremely easy to make and very tasty. I would definitely make this again.
5th Jun, 2018
another horror from the fake italian food show! Puttanesca sauce is very far from this. And then: your craze of putting onions and garlic everywhere! Oh my God! Please don't call this italian!
17th Dec, 2017
Edible, but only just. I used 2 chillis, but the sauce still tasted bland and a bit sickly. The pilchards went mushy very quickly, so there wasn't a lot of texture to the dish. I definitely won't be making this again.
2nd Mar, 2016
Surprised myself with how delicious this was and the kids liked it too which is great, as I usually have all the ingredients in so a fab stand by option. I took the bones out of the pilchards first and used black olives from at tub as we get through a couple of large tubs a week so always have them in. (kids are addicted to them)
14th Apr, 2015
This is delicious. I used 3 chillies, 4 cloves of garlic and black olives from a jar. Will be making this again soon.
25th Jun, 2014
At first sight this recipe does not look very inviting. Having prepared it I can say that it is well worth trying. Very quick and very tasty. We have now had it on a number of occasions and it never fails to please.
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