Pasta Puttanesca

Puttanesca is one of the classic Italian pasta sauces. It’s made with inexpensive ingredients, ones you most likely keep on hand. Pair this with Betsy Fear’s Caesar Salad and some fresh bread, and you have the perfect casual dinner for friends or family.


For the non-anchovy lovers out there, don’t be afraid! You’ll want at least 2 filets, which will add an umami note but won’t make the sauce fishy. For those that are fans of the little salted fish, add up to 6 filets (or more if you’re truly in love with them!) The same goes for the garlic. I’m a huge fan, so I’ll almost always add more than what’s called for in a recipe, but if you don’t like it so much, use less.


If you want protein, feel free to serve with roasted chicken thighs, or cut up the chicken (or pork!) and add to the sauce.


1 # Spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine (or other pasta of your choice)


2 Tsp Olive Oil

1 Small Onion, chopped finely

3-5 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed, but not chopped (or chopped if you prefer)

2-6 filets Canned Anchovies, chopped

28 oz can Diced Tomatoes (if you want to use fresh, make sure to peel them)

½ teasp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

2 teasp Dried Oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh)

¼ C Capers, drained

½ -¾ C Kalamata or Cured Black Olives, seeded and chopped


Fresh chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese to top.


Bring a large pot of water to the boil – salted generously.

While water is heating, start the sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep saute pan or wide Dutch oven.

Add the onions and saute for about 4-5 minutes over medium heat.

Add the garlic and anchovies and cook until the garlic just begins to turn golden.

Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes,


Meanwhile, when the pasta water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the directions. (Generally about 9 minutes for al dente spaghetti.)

Strain the pasta, reserving some of the liquid to thin the sauce if it seems too thick.


Mix a ladleful of the sauce into the pasta, then serve out into bowls. Pour another ladleful on top of each bowl of pasta.

OR stir all the pasta into the sauce and combine to make sure it’s all covered, then serve.

Top with fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese.

Pasta Puttanesca Dinner