Puttanesca pasta

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My family loves Italian food, and I regularly prepare dishes like Parmesan chicken, carbonara pasta, and this simple but satisfying spaghetti alla puttanesca.

When I am looking for a quick and easy dinner, I often turn to Puttanesca pasta. It uses ingredients that I usually already have on hand, and it can be on the table in 30 minutes. How can you go wrong with that?

How is puttanesca pasta made?

This recipe starts with garlic, anchovy paste, and red chili flakes, which are sautéed in olive oil until fragrant. Canned tomatoes go into the pan and the sauce is simmered until thick. While the sauce is cooking, bring the pasta to a boil. The last step is to stir some olives and capers in the sauce, mix with the pasta and enjoy!

What is in the puttanesca sauce?

Puttanesca sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, chili flakes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, and capers. While you may think anchovies are a strange choice for pasta sauce, don't skip them from the recipe! Anchovies make the sauce taste more complex, but the sauce doesn't taste fishy. In fact, you probably won't even notice that the anchovy paste is there.

Tips for the perfect puttanesca pasta

  • Look for cans of San Marzano tomatoes for this recipe. This tomato variety is full of flavor and does not contain many seeds, making it perfect for making sauce.
  • You can use any type of black olive that you like. I usually use Kalamata olives, but a good Gaeta or Nicoise would work well too. Just be sure to remove the pits before adding the olives to the sauce.
  • Capers with salt have the best flavor and texture, just rinse them off quickly before putting them in the sauce.
  • This pasta stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, making it ideal for preparing meals.
  • I usually serve this dish with garlic bread and a green salad for a full meal.
  • If you prefer a spicier paste, feel free to increase the amount of red pepper flakes.

Flavor variations

This recipe as written is a fairly classic version of this dish, but you can alter the ingredients to suit your tastes.

  • Protein: Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or sliced ​​flank steak on top of your pasta.
  • Herbs: Feel free to use other herbs instead of parsley like oregano or basil.
  • Pasta: While this dish is often made with spaghetti, other long pastas will work as well, such as linguine or angel hair pasta.
  • Cheese: Add a little freshly grated cheese on top, like Parmesan, Romano or even mozzarella.

This pasta dish is loaded with bold flavors, and its flavor comes directly from your local Italian restaurant. This is something you should try when you need to have dinner at the table quickly!

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More Italian dishes you will enjoy

  • Pizza stuffed shells
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
  • Bruschetta Chicken
  • Pasta with chicken and parmesan
  • Chicken Pesto Pasta

Puttanesca Pasta Video

Puttanesca pasta

This puttanesca pasta is spaghetti mixed with a homemade tomato sauce flavored with olives, capers, and herbs. A quick and easy dinner option that tastes straight from your local Italian restaurant!

Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 Calories: 355kcal


  • 12 ounces spaghetti pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • 28 ounces can of San Marzano whole tomatoes, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 3 tablespoons of capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the anchovy, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pan.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Chop the tomatoes into thick chunks and then add them to the pan. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir to combine the tomato and olive oil mixture. Bring to a simmer.
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have decomposed and formed a sauce.
  • Add the olives and capers.
  • Drain the pasta and stir with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.


Calories :: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 538 mg | Potassium: 525 mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 329 IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3 mg


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