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Pasta Puttanesca is a classic Italian pasta recipe full of briny Mediterranean flavors. You’re going to love this 30-minute meal!

Pasta puttanesca on a white plate.

We are head-over-heels in love with pasta puttanesca over here at The Stay At Home Chef, yet that wasn’t always the case. You see, anchovies always felt just out of our culinary reach. What do you even do with those teeny tiny filets? Well, we eventually conquered our anchovy fears and we are now here to hold your hand through this process. We promise, it is worth trying a new ingredient when the end result is this good. 

  • Salt Content:

    Pasta puttanesca doesn’t need hardly any salt added due to the salt content in the brined capers and olives. Be sure to taste your sauce before adding any salt to this dish, to not overdo it.

  • Anchovies:

    Trust us, you do not want to leave the anchovies out. You will want to chop your anchovies finely because they are filled with tiny bones. Due to being packed in oil, those bones are soft and you do not need to remove them. 

    If you want to reduce possible waste of unused anchovy filets, you can also substitute with 3 tablespoons anchovy paste.

  • Olive Options:

    We love Kalamata olives, but you could really use any black olives in this recipe. To make this as quick and easy as possible, make sure you purchase pitted olives. Otherwise, you can always remove the pit yourself. You can either use a cherry pitter, or simply use a chopstick to push the pit out.

  • Pasta Options:

    We call for linguine in this recipe, but you could really use any long-style pasta: spaghetti, angel hair, and fettuccine would all go really well in pasta puttanesca.

  • Fresh Tomatoes for Pasta Puttanesca?

    You absolutely can use fresh tomatoes! We reach for the canned, diced tomatoes in pasta puttanesca due to the sheer amount of tomatoes needed! 28 ounces of diced tomatoes would make for a lot of work dicing. If you choose to use fresh tomatoes, you will need 10-12 whole tomatoes, diced, or about 2 pounds.

  • Make Ahead Instructions:

    To save time in the evening, you can make the sauce up to 24 hours ahead of time. Simply follow the written instructions through Step 3. Once your sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, remove from heat and let cool slightly before placing in an airtight container in the fridge. When you are ready to prepare your dinner, bring your sauce back to temperature on the stovetop over medium-low heat and continue on with Step 4 of the recipe.

  • Storage and Reheating Instructions:

    Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop in a skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to thin out the sauce.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious pasta recipes:

Pasta puttanesca with olives and basil.
Pasta puttanesca on a white plate.
Pasta Puttanesca is a classic Italian pasta recipe full of briny Mediterranean flavors. You're going to love this 30 minute meal!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 anchovies , finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup dry packed sun-dried tomatoes , finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • salt and black pepper , to taste
Instructions
  • Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add in garlic and anchovies. Let cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until garlic turns golden.
  • Add in diced tomatoes, stir, and let them simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add in olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir and let simmer over medium low heat, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Add drained, cooked pasta directly in the sauce and toss until pasta is evenly coated.
  • Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh chopped basil and freshly grated parmesan (optional).
Notes
If you prefer a more saucy pasta puttanesca, reserve approximately 1 cup of your pasta water and add in 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.
Cut back on the heat by decreasing the chili flakes and black pepper.  You can always add more after the dish is complete.

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 492mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 424IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Pasta Puttanesca
Pasta puttanesca on a white plate.
Pasta Puttanesca is a classic Italian pasta recipe full of briny Mediterranean flavors. You're going to love this 30 minute meal!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 anchovies , finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup dry packed sun-dried tomatoes , finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • salt and black pepper , to taste
Instructions
  • Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add in garlic and anchovies. Let cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until garlic turns golden.
  • Add in diced tomatoes, stir, and let them simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add in olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir and let simmer over medium low heat, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Add drained, cooked pasta directly in the sauce and toss until pasta is evenly coated.
  • Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh chopped basil and freshly grated parmesan (optional).
Notes
If you prefer a more saucy pasta puttanesca, reserve approximately 1 cup of your pasta water and add in 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.
Cut back on the heat by decreasing the chili flakes and black pepper.  You can always add more after the dish is complete.

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 492mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 424IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Pasta Puttanesca
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Toni
April 19, 2021 6:51 pm

5 stars
This is possibly the best pasta I’ve had with great flavor. My husband asks me to make all the time. Just like other reviews 2 Tbl spoons of red pepper flakes is to spicy. I only use 1 tsp because I don’t like spicy but give my husband red pepper flakes to add to his. I also use about 3 Tbl spoons of anchovy paste instead of anchovies.

Jan
March 28, 2021 5:25 pm

Enjoyed this recipe. The only thing I will say is it calls for 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes. I used about 3/4 of a teaspoon and it was too spicy for us. Next time I think I’d leave it out, or maybe use 1/4 teaspoon.

Lou
March 30, 2021 11:42 am
Reply to  Jan

I should have read your comment before making it. I used two teaspoons and it was very spicy.

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