Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

Pasta Puttanesca Recipe: Puttanesca sauce, bold and comforting in the nicest way, is made using basic cupboard items like garlic, canned tomatoes, anchovies, olives, and capers. Any night of the week, add some spaghetti for the ideal pasta puttanesca!


Pasta Puttanesca Recipe


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  • ¾ pound thin spaghetti
  • Kosher salt

For The Sauce


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil; I often use Italian Nocellara EVOO for this one
  • 4 to 8 anchovy fillets, use to your liking


  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 to 5 large garlic cloves, minced


  • 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced


  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano


  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped parsley




  • Heat about ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil in a big, deep pan. Add the red pepper flakes and anchovy fillets to the heated oil over medium heat. Fry for approximately two minutes, stirring occasionally, until the anchovies partially melt and add flavor to the oil.
  • After adding the garlic and cooking it for a short while until it becomes aromatic, add the tomatoes, dried oregano, a half of an olive, and some capers. While breaking up the tomatoes with your cooking utensil, bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat and partially cover the pan. Cook until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency, around 20 to 30 minutes.


  • As the sauce cooks, prepare the pasta by boiling it in salted water until it reaches al dente, following the directions on the package (mine took about 9 minutes).
  • Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan with the sauce and well mix. Add a small amount of the pasta cooking water if necessary. If necessary, adjust the salt by tasting it.
  • Add fresh parsley and the leftover olives and capers as garnish. Present!



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  • Use any long, thin pasta (such as bucatini, linguine, or vermicelli) in place of the spaghetti that I used. Pene is also used in several recipes!


  • Puttanesca with chicken or tuna: You can also add canned tuna that has been drained or cooked and shredded to the sauce. Give it a few minutes to boil in the sauce.
  • Accompany it with a large salad, such as a Mediterranean bean salad, Panzanella salad, or arugula salad.
  • Storage of leftovers: Combine the spaghetti and puttanesca sauce just enough so that it may be consumed all at once. Keep any remaining sauce refrigerated for four to five days in an airtight container.


  • Turn the heat back up to medium. Accompany it with freshly cooked spaghetti.
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FAQs AND Questions

What to serve with pasta puttanesca


  • Pasta puttanesca is a delicious, substantial supper in and of itself; a side dish isn’t really necessary. This hearty dish is always best started with garlic bread, and I personally prefer to add a large salad, such as panzanella, arugula, or Mediterranean bean salad.


How to store spaghetti puttanesca leftovers


  • For the best flavor and texture of the pasta, only mix enough pasta and sauce that can be eaten in one sitting. Leftover puttanesca sauce can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.


  • To reheat, transfer the sauce to a pan on the stove and warm over medium heat. If the sauce looks dry, add a little water to help loosen it. Make a fresh batch of pasta and serve.


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