Ridiculously easy, this dish can be made entirely from pantry staples if you don’t count the fresh herbs at the end. Mangia!
According to Italy Magazine, some say the name, Pasta Puttanesca originated in the brothels of the Spanish Quarters, while others claim it was invented in the 1950s in a famous Ischia restaurant. “Una puttanata qualsiasi,” means, to throw together whatever ingredients you have to make something simple. And that’s exactly what this dish is!
This Pasta Puttanesca is…
- Loaded with heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat from the olives AND the olive oil
- Packed with Vitamin C and lycopene because of the tomatoes (you can use canned or fresh tomatoes in this recipe)
- A good source of energy – you’ll get all the carbs you need from the pasta. (Use whole grain for even more nutrition.)
- An inflammation-fighter from the fresh garlic cloves. Add more if you like!
- Heavy on the olive-y flavor — yum!
- Spicy with just the right amount of heat
- Umami-rich – from the anchovies. (Leave them out if you like. You can use Worcestershire sauce instead.)
- Easy to prepare
This dish is soeasy to make. From start to finish, you can have this dish on your table in less than 30 minutes! And you can make it with fresh tomatoes (which are beginning to appear at farmer’s markets now) or canned tomatoes – your choice! In the photo here I used canned tomatoes but if you have fresh – by all means, use them. 😊
There is really no reason not to make this dish tonight. I suggest pairing this Pasta Puttanesca with some really good Parmesan, a side salad, and a big fat glass of Chianti. This recipe makes 4 modest servings or 3 good-size servings, or 2 really big servings! I guarantee, whichever size serving you choose to eat, you ‘ll love this dish. Mangia!
Yield 2-4 servings
Ridiculously easy this dish can be made entirely from pantry staples if you don’t count the fresh basil or parsley at the end.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 oz. dry spaghetti noodles
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 teaspoons anchovy paste, or 2 anchovy filets, chopped; or 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for the pasta water)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juices, any flavor, or 2 cups fresh chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- Pinch of sugar
- 1/3-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Boil water to cook pasta. Add a generous sprinkling of salt to the pasta water.
- Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Cook garlic, anchovy paste (or substitute), red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in skillet over medium-high heat stirring until fragrant and until garlic is a golden color. Don’t let it burn!
- Add tomatoes with their juices, to the garlic/oil mixture. Stir. Add olives, capers, and sugar and simmer on low, 3-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta until almost tender.
- Drain pasta, saving ¼ cup of pasta cooking water. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Simmer, turning pasta with tongs until pasta is tender, about 1-2 minutes more. While it’s simmering, add a little of the pasta cooking water until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve with grated Parmesan.
Serving Size 1-2 cups
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 532 mg
Total Carbohydrates 49 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 10 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.