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a skillet with spaghetti in puttanesca sauce with serving tongs

Easy Pasta Puttanesca

This pasta puttanesca recipe is a simple pantry meal that has bold savory flavors! It's a quick weeknight dinner and uses minimal ingredients for the addictive tomato sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Pasta Puttanesca Recipe, Puttanesca Sauce, Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 401kcal


  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta I used spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 4-5 anchovy fillets cut into small pieces
  • 1 (28 fluid ounce) can whole tomatoes (with juices) see note
  • 2-3 tablespoons capers drained
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted and halved
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley optional, to taste


  • Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, add the canned tomatoes to a bowl and crush the tomatoes (it's easiest to do this using your hands, but you could also use a fork).
  • Add the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovies to a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes (watch the garlic doesn't burn).
  • Stir in the tomatoes, capers, and olives. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the flavors meld.
  • Season with salt & pepper as needed. Toss with the drained pasta (add a splash of the hot water water prior to draining if you wish to thin the sauce) and enjoy.


  • I recommend San Marzano plum tomatoes for best flavor. You may swap the whole canned tomatoes with crushed tomatoes if you prefer.
  • The garlic, anchovy, and olive quantities are quite flexible. If you want bolder flavor, add more of each. Measure with your heart!
  • Feel free to add in more chopped fresh herbs such as basil or oregano.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 670mg | Potassium: 547mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 381IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg