Pasta Puttanesca

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After all the Mexican food and braised pork the last few days, I was in the mood for some pasta.  But what kind?  That’s the real trick in cooking for a family; creating something everyone will eat and yet having variety to keep it interesting for me.  So when deciding what kind of sauce to have with the pasta, I had to think about what we hadn’t had in awhile.  The first thing I decided was I wanted no meat in it.  We’d had alot of meat lately and I just didn’t feel like it.  So that ruled out Bolognese and other Ragú.  After rumaging through the refridgerator for ideas, I spotted some capers and Kalamata olives and dinner was set-Puttanesca.  I knew it wouldn’t please everyone (my daughter doesn’t like those olives), but hey, they could pick out what they don’t like.  Enjoy!

I started by dicing 1/2 an onion, slicing 4 garlic cloves, and slicing 2/3 cup Kalamata olives.

I added 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and cooked the onions for about 5 minutes then added the garlic and cooked for another 3 minutes until softened.

I added 5 minced anchovy filets and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and cooked another 3 minutes.

I added a 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes including the liquid that I crushed finely with my hands before adding, the sliced olives, 2 tablespoons capers(I used the smaller non-pareil that I rinsed).  I let it simmer uncovered for 20 minutes on low then added 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil and cooked for 5 more minutes.  I dropped my pasta(I had some fettucini here) in salted boiling water until just underdone, drained and reserved 1 1/2 cups pasta water.  In a small fry pan over medium heat, I added a teaspoon of olive oil, a ladle of sauce and some pasta.  I added about 1/4 cup of pasta water, 1 tablespoon butter and stirred it all together until the sauce had slightly thickened back up and then plated.

And this was the final dish.  That’s a whole lot of goodness.  Enjoy!

Pasta Puttanesca
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Puttanesca is one of my favorite sauces with the salty olives and capers in contrast with the sweet acidic tomatoes. This is a perfect dish for weeknights as it comes together fast.
Recipe type: Entree, Main
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound pasta cooked al dente
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 5 anchovy filets minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes with juice crushed by hand
  • ⅔ cup olives sliced preferably Kalamata
  • 2 tablespoons capers (non-pereil) rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the anchovies and crushed red pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Finely crush the tomatoes by hand into the pot then add the olives and capers and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add the basil and cook for 5 more minutes until done.
For plating, reserve about 1½ cups of the pasta water before draining. In a fry pan over medium heat, add a little olive oil, about ¾ cup of the sauce, a serving of pasta, ¼ cup of the pasta water and some butter. Mix the pasta and sauce until well combined and the sauce has pulled together then plate.







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Pasta Puttanesca — 1 Comment

  1. Love this new layout, Ken! Makes it so much easier to look through your recipes. And the last two…the pasta and huevos ranchero, look especially wonderful.

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