Puttanesca is a hearty tomato sauce with a rich texture and a spicy kick. Pair it with hot pasta, and a fresh tasting, wholesome dinner will be on the table in no time.

Recipe Summary

prep:
5 mins
cook:
16 mins
total:
21 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.

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  • As the water heats, pour the olive oil into a cold skillet and stir in the garlic. Turn heat to medium-low and cook and stir until the garlic is fragrant and begins to turn a golden color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, oregano, and anchovies. Cook until anchovies begin to break down, about 2 minutes.

  • Pour tomatoes into skillet, turn heat to medium-high, and bring sauce to a simmer. Use the back of a spoon to break down tomatoes as they cook. Simmer until sauce is reduced and combined, about 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water. Drain when still very firm to the bite, about 9 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

  • Stir the olives and capers into the sauce; add pasta and toss to combine.

  • Toss pasta in sauce until pasta is cooked through and well coated with sauce, about 1 minute. If sauce becomes too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water to thin.

Cook's Note:

You can leave out the anchovies if you like, but for best flavor, leave them in! They melt right into the sauce and add authentic Italian flavor.

Nutrition Facts

463 calories; protein 10.5g; carbohydrates 53.3g; fat 24g; cholesterol 2.5mg; sodium 944.5mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (70)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2013
Delicious! I love this kind of pasta sauce--I love the bold flavors of the tomato capers and olives and I haven't found a puttanesca recipe I didn't like. You have to like all of those flavors though or you'll end up with a dish you don't like. And it just wouldn't be the same without all of the flavors. I will admit I didn't use the anchovies--I never have them; in fact I've never bought them in my life and only tried them once. I don't have any dislike of anchovies; just don't have them. I used green olives with pimento since that is what I had and didn't chop the capers. Yum! My only comments are that you could put in the tomatoes undrained--you'd just have to cook longer--and you don't need that much oil. I used just enough to coat the pan. Thanks for the recipe! Read More
(23)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/10/2020
I made the recipe exactly as written. It was quick and easy, but did not have anywhere near the flavor of other Puttanesca recipes I have made in the past. I used San Marzano tomatoes, but the flavor just wasn't there. Read More
86 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 72
  • 4 star values: 9
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2013
Delicious! I love this kind of pasta sauce--I love the bold flavors of the tomato capers and olives and I haven't found a puttanesca recipe I didn't like. You have to like all of those flavors though or you'll end up with a dish you don't like. And it just wouldn't be the same without all of the flavors. I will admit I didn't use the anchovies--I never have them; in fact I've never bought them in my life and only tried them once. I don't have any dislike of anchovies; just don't have them. I used green olives with pimento since that is what I had and didn't chop the capers. Yum! My only comments are that you could put in the tomatoes undrained--you'd just have to cook longer--and you don't need that much oil. I used just enough to coat the pan. Thanks for the recipe! Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
04/06/2012
Thank you for a wonderful recipe that is quick and easy to prepare, as well as bursting with flavor. The only change I made was to serve this over fresh linguini pasta. This one is going into my recipe box! Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2014
I have made puttanesca for many many years and this is the first time I decided to look it up and go with a recipe. This was an incredible recipe. Although I did add a seafood medley of shrimp, prawns and calamari. I also put the whole can of anchovies in and it was delicious. I love seafood so one last thing, after I added noodles and I was cooking the whole dish together, I put a small fillet of salmon over the top of the entire dish, just have something to munch on later, and wow did that add some great flavors to that fillet. I didn't eat the salmon with the pasta. Read More
(8)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/15/2012
Loved this recipe! I made it just as written with whole grain linguini. My husband had seconds and ate the leftovers before I had a chance. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
09/30/2013
Superb as written! I had to separate out a portion prior to adding the anchovies as I am allergic to fish but add them if you possibly can. They don't taste fishy. They just add a savory nuance that perks up the rest of the flavors in the dish. And that's the beauty of puttanesca! Because the sauce is so easy and comes together so fast it's no trouble to set a portion aside before adding an ingredient that give some eaters trouble. I served it with whole wheat spaghetti and crushed red pepper on the side for those who like more heat. Keep the salad simple - sliced cucumbers are nice - and you can have dinner on the table within 20 min of walking through the door. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
07/08/2014
Prepared basically as written -- added more garlic (I'm fearful of vampires) used 2 tins of diced tomatoes spiced with garlic basil & oregano (undrained and cooked down). But overall....wow...this is fantastic. I'm single so made the recipe as written and saved the leftovers for later (freezes well). Oh yea...I did add some chopped fresh basil. Great recipe if you're vegan (I'm not)...but is a great sauce for whatever pasta you desire (I did use lobster ravioli). This is one recipe that uses basic "pantry-ready" items (other than anchovies (most will have to agree). If you don't try this recipe you're missing out on a fantastically easy pasta sauce that will pique your pallate. Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/03/2014
Quick easy and full of flavor! And it just so happens it used things I commonly have in my pantry minus the anchovies which I left out completely. You can easily adjust this to suit your tastes. I cut back on the oil and used Italian seasoned diced tomatoes and didn't bother draining them. I also added just a little tomato paste concentrate. I topped it with a little shredded Parmesan cheese before serving. This was so simple and went great with Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken from this site garlic bread and of course a nice glass of wine! Read More
(6)
Rating: 4 stars
05/29/2013
This was good! I think it could definitely use more than 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes... and maybe more olives:) Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
05/31/2020
I love this recipe and have made it many times in the past years but don’t think I’ve ever reviewed it. It’s a simple, fast puttanesca that tastes like you fussed for hours. And guess what? I’m reviewing the actual recipe.....not something I modified! Lol. Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
06/10/2020
I made the recipe exactly as written. It was quick and easy, but did not have anywhere near the flavor of other Puttanesca recipes I have made in the past. I used San Marzano tomatoes, but the flavor just wasn't there. Read More
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