Pasta Puttanesca


This sauce is named for the “ladies of the night”. It is said that they would place the pots in the open windows in order to lure men in with the fantastic aroma. A finely balanced spicy sauce that will awaken your taste buds and satisfy your hunger.

You may notice that there is NO SALT listed in the sauce ingredients. Crazy right?? Well, this recipe gets its salt from the briny capers and olives. Just another reason I love this sauce. Quick and easy, this can be made any night of the week, or elevated with a lovely salad, some crusty bread, and a dry red wine for an elegant meal.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced or microplaned
  • 2 tablespoons anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Castlevetrano olives, pits removed and roughly chopped (or use kalamata olives)
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 32oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti rigati, cooked in salted water
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, garlic, anchovy paste, and crushed pepper. Saute mixture until anchovies melt into oil and completely dissolve and garlic is tender, about 3 minutes. Add olives, capers, crushed tomato, grape tomatoes, black pepper, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes. Cook pasta in salted water according to instructions. Toss sauce with cooked pasta. Serve with crusty bread and a mixed green salad. Top with grated Parmesan.

Servings: 4

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Jenn Knapp

About Jenn Knapp

Jenn is a self-taught home cook who's passionate about using local and seasonal ingredients. She's a stay-at-home mother of two constantly looking for innovative ways to encourage her kids to be healthy and adventurous eaters.