Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

Serves: 4-6 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe
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  • 1 pound long pasta noodles
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 3 anchovy fillets
  • 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  • ¼ cup capers
  • Parsley, Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes, for garnish


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This pasta recipe is not one you want to pass on! For real, we have to thank Italy for this one. It’s rich, mouth-watering, and also as fun as its name – puttanesca. Sometimes I just pronounce it when no one’s listening. Pasta Puttanesca is easy to make and requires ingredients you most likely have in your pantry already.

Just a taste of this and you won’t be able to put your fork away! Puttanesca is a rich sauce made from olives, capers, anchovies, and sometimes garlic and chili pepper. While this sauce is popularly served with spaghetti, it blends just great with others in the pasta family.

This post won’t be complete without shedding light on the actual meaning of puttanesca. Translating to English it means “of, or relating to a whore”. It is said to have originated from prostitutes who used it to lure customers because it smells so good. Great marketing I must say, lol, just kidding. Everyone makes pasta, but not everyone makes great pasta. This recipe is the key to making great pasta puttanesca. Most people make two main mistakes while making pasta puttanesca sauce.

First is not using enough ingredients we mentioned above. Please remember this is not soup, it is a sauce, it is meant to be rich in favor, so be generous with the ingredients. Second is poor storage of the puttanesca sauce. For short term consumption, store in a fridge while for long term consumption you should store in a freezer.

To freeze the sauce, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container or simply freeze the sauce in freezer-safe bags, then lay on the baking tray until frozen before transferring to the freezer.

  1. Bring a large pot of of salted water to a boil (about 1 tablespoon kosher salt). Boil the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic. If the olives are not sliced, slice them in half. In a separate large pot or saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium low heat.
  3. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt, and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
  4. Add the olives and capers to the tomato sauce. Continue to simmer until the pasta is done.
  5. Drain the pasta and stir it into the tomato sauce. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley, and additional red pepper flakes to taste.