Mouthwatering Pasta Puttanesca in Under an Hour

Mouthwatering Pasta Puttanesca in Under an Hour

Pasta puttanesca involves a simple sauce of humble origins.  However, it’s also a symphony of flavours you won’t soon forget.  Best of all? It can be on the table in less time than takeout.

Mouthwatering Pasta Puttanesca in Under an Hour | cookglobaleatlocal.comPasta puttanesca is one of my favourite pasta dishes.  I will never forget the first time I tasted it.

I bought a small jar of sauce from an elegant cookware shop.  The sauce was imported from an artisanal manufacturer in Italy and was a decadent luxury for me at the time.

It was also a totally uncharacteristic splurge on a sauce that boasted anchovies as a key ingredient, since I disliked anchovies intensely.  However, I fell in love at first bite.  In fact, my husband and I enjoyed the sauce so much that we turned it into a regular treat.

The beauty of pasta puttanesca is that the ingredients sing in harmony.  The anchovies blend into an umami flavour which takes backstage to the olives and capers, and the garlic is prominent enough to be tasted, yet no longer pungent.  In short, the dish is much more than the sum of its parts.

Pasta puttanesca, for me, is the epitome of classic fast food.  It is a simple, earthy dish that comes together quickly and of which I never grow tired.

Needless to say, I simply had to find a recipe to help me make this addictive sauce from scratch.  After much research, and experimentation, I have finally arrived at a recipe that is reasonably close to that luxurious artisanal jar I used to buy, and I’m pleased to share it with you.


About the Recipe

As in any simple dish, the quality of the ingredients is key.  It is worth spending a little extra to buy Italian tomatoes and real Kalamata olives, because these ingredients are critical to the flavour of the dish.  If you start with the very best, your dish will sing like the most beautiful aria.

As for the anchovies and garlic, you may feel free to adjust the quantities according to your family’s taste.  However, I strongly suggest you start with the proportions I’ve recommended, as they’re the result of extensive experimentation.

This sauce is meant to be seasoned with a deft hand.  It is not meant to be fiery hot.  That is why I’ve limited the crushed chilies to 1 teaspoon.  However, depending on your palate, you may need to adjust the quantity.  The essential thing is to ensure that the chilies do not overpower the other flavours in the dish.

I hope your family loves this special pasta as much as mine does.  Bon appétit!


Mouthwatering Pasta Puttanesca in Under an Hour

Mouthwatering Pasta Puttanesca in Under an Hour |
Jeanette Marie
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Prep Time:  15 minutes - Cook Time:  30 minutes Servings:  4

Pasta Puttanesca makes an exquisite, easy meal for busy weeknights. It's a classic Italian sauce, which is a symphony of flavour you won't soon forget. Best of all, it can be on the table faster than takeout!

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 anchovies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 2 400 g (14 oz) tins diced Italian tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly torn
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped (or basil chiffonade)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 500 g (1 lb) spaghetti or linguine
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional) for serving, to taste

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic anchovies and chilli flakes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, but not yet brown, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes to the saucepan and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened and the oil floats to the top.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a stockpot with water, add salt until the water tastes briny (like sea water), and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. When the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot and cook according to package directions until pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta thoroughly. Return it to the pot it was cooked in.
  4. Then, stir the capers, olives and fresh herbs into the sauce. Taste, and add salt, as needed. Then, ladle half the tomato sauce into the pot the pasta was cooked in. Toss the pasta with the sauce to thoroughly combine, adding cooking water as needed to keep the pasta wet and loose.
  5. Turn pasta out into a large serving bowl (or individual bowls, if desired) and pour the remaining tomato sauce into the centre of the pasta "nest". Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano over the pasta according to your taste and serve immediately.

You may adjust the quantities of garlic, anchovies, and chilli flakes according to your personal taste. However, it is worth trying the recipe as written the first time around. If you dislike garlic or anchovies, you will be pleased to find that they blend so beautifully with the other flavours in the dish that you almost forget they are there!


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