Pasta Puttanesca

by Lana Stuart on April 2, 2010 · 23 comments

Pasta Puttanesca

I know I’ve told you all before how BeeBop loves his meat and potatoes. I do, too, but I also love veggies! If I could get away with it, I’d do a meatless dinner several times a week. While we’re not quite to that point yet, I do occasionally slip in a meatless meal and he usually enjoys it. This is one that I tried recently and have cooked it again since then so I know it’s a winner. Plus, it’s very quick, no more than 20 minutes from start to finish. It does use anchovies, but you can leave them out if you’re totally convinced that you don’t like them. I think if you tried it once with the anchovies, though, you might decide to keep them in. They really melt into the sauce and you never know they’re there. They just give a sort of nutty background flavor.

I was going to explain the origin of the Puttanesca Sauce, but, well, my Mama reads this blog and I don’t think she’d appreciate me spelling that out here in front of everyone. So, if you’re curious about Puttanesca, take a look at this link at Food Reference.

For this sauce, I recommend using the highest quality San Marzano tomatoes you can find. I especially like the Cento brand.

1 pound pasta
1 tblsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 anchovy fillets or 2 tblsp anchovy paste (optional)
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes in juice
2 tblsp capers, drained
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tblsp chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add one tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook pasta until desired doneness.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the olives, garlic and tomatoes. Pit the olives by pressing each with the flat side of a knife then remove the pit. Chop olives roughly and set aside. Mince the garlic and set aside. Cut the whole tomatoes into rough pieces, or do what I do and crush each tomato with my hand as I add them into the pan.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovies (if using). Cook while stirring and mashing the anchovy fillets until the garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes.

Add the chopped or crushed tomatoes with their juice. Stir in capers and olives. Bring the a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until tomatoes are softened and sauce is thickened. About 5-10 minutes.

When ready to serve, add the fresh basil and the cooked, drained pasta into the tomato sauce and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with some shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Enjoy!

Pasta Puttanesca

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Pasta Puttanesca

A quick and easy pasta sauce. Ready in under 20 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 anchovy fillets or 2 tblsp anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 2 tblsp capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add one tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook pasta until desired doneness.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the olives, garlic and tomatoes. Pit the olives by pressing each with the flat side of a knife then remove the pit. Chop olives roughly and set aside. Mince the garlic and set aside. Cut the whole tomatoes into rough pieces (what I do is to crush each tomato with my hands as I add them into the pan).
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovies (if using). Cook, stirring and mashing the anchovy fillets until the garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped or crushed tomatoes with their juice. Stir in capers and olives. Bring the a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until tomatoes are softened and sauce is thickened. About 5-10 minutes. When ready to serve, add the fresh basil and the cooked pasta into the tomato sauce and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

All text and photographs on Never Enough Thyme are copyright protected. Please do not use any material from this site without obtaining prior permission. If you'd like to post this recipe on your site, please create your own original photographs and either re-write the recipe in your own words or link to this post.

http://www.lanascooking.com/2010/04/02/pasta-puttanesca/

–Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HoneyB April 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm

One my friends talks about Pasta Puttanesca all the time and she makes it often, I am going to have to give it a try myself! Looks great!

Reply

2 Barbara @ moderncomfortfood April 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I’m also a fan of this wonderful dish, which is also a great way to use excess home-grown tomatoes. And I too would hesitate to detail to my mom the origins of its name! Thank you sharing your delicious-sounding recipe.

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3 Lana April 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

This would be fantastic in late summer when there is an abundance of home-grown tomatoes! I’ve just recently planted my tomatoes for this year. Maybe I’ll have enough to give it a try.

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4 NOelle @Opera Singer in Kitchen April 2, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I like this alot! I have all the ingredients to make this next week! Thanks!!

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5 Cookin' Canuck April 2, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Beautiful photo! Pasta puttanesca is one of my favorite dishes – I think all of the salty elements appeal to my taste buds.

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6 Lana April 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Oh, absolutely! The saltiness of the anchovies and capers add so much!

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7 jenn (Bread + Butter) April 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Quick pasta dishes are a plus in my book!!!! Plus, who can’t resist pasta.

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8 Linn @ Swedish home cooking April 4, 2010 at 4:56 am

That reminds me of when I was in Italy and went to this tiny tiny little restaurant in Florence. We had something like that. Mmm.

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9 Lana April 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I would love to visit Italy one day. I could eat my way from North to South!

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10 SMITH BITES April 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Fabulous Lana! We make Puttanesca all the time – it’s so quick and easy and seriously as good as restaurant food! Bravo!

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11 clive April 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm

This dish was absolutely incredible. Two issues (aren’t there always?). Pitting the olives was a little messy and the pepper, even though just half a teaspoon, made the dish a little hot. That aside i could eat the whole pound of pasta by myself it is so tasty. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

p.s. the kitchen smells good enough to eat haha

Reply

12 Lana April 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Hi Clive. Very glad you enjoyed the recipe. So, next time you’ll adjust for less pepper. I happen to like it quite spicy. Also, you can buy the pitted kalamata olives if that’s your preference. I always pit them and have not found it to be messy. But, as they say, “your mileage may vary.”

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13 Linda April 16, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Made this for dinner tonight and I got a big “thumbs up” from the family!

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14 Lana April 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Great, Linda! So glad your family enjoyed it.

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15 clive April 21, 2010 at 11:14 am

I made this again the other day and used less red pepper (1/4 tspn).

The dish tastes better when made the way the recipe is written. :)

I still cant believe how tasty this is. thanks

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16 Elizabeth Ferrell May 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm

This is a really wonderful recipe; except, I was wondering if you really meant 2 tablespoons? I used 2 teaspoons instead and I didn’t really miss anything.

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17 Lana May 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Of which ingredient, Elizabeth?

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18 Elizabeth Ferrell May 17, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Ooops! I meant of the anchovy paste. I have a weird paste and I wanted to make sure I didn’t overpower the sauce.

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19 Lana May 18, 2010 at 8:36 am

Yes, I did use 2 tablespoons in my recipe. You can adjust to your taste :-)

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20 Dave Beaulieu October 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

This looks really tasty, and I agree with you on the Tomatoes. I do a quick an dirty version when I’m in a hurry after work.. http://tiny.cc/8ce1b. I drop a few ingredients, but it still comes out very well. Thanks for sharing

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