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My Easy Pasta Puttanesca

My Easy Pasta Puttanesca recipe is a really simple and budget friendly tomato based sauce. Made with a savory mix of anchovies, garlic, olives, hot pepper flakes, and capers. Spaghetti is tossed in this delicious sauce and it's garnished with some chopped fresh Italian parsley. A little bit spicy, and super flavorful!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pasta, Sauce
Servings: 6
Author: Lora


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 anchovy fillets to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional and use more if you like it hot
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 28- ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted gaeta or kalamata olives, sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons capers
  • salt for the pasta water and optional for the sauce
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water boils, salt it. Bring to another boil, and add in the pasta. Cook it to 1 minute less than al dente.
  • In a large saute’ pan, add the extra-virgin olive oil and heat until it’s shimmering. Add in the anchovies and stir with a wooden spoon breaking them up. They will melt right into the oil. If you are making your sauce spicy, add in the red pepper flakes (to your taste).
    Add in the garlic and once it is fragrant and has a little color, add in the tomatoes and their juices. Stir with wooden spoon to break up. Add in the olives and capers and bring the sauce to a simmer.  Check the sauce and add a little salt, if needed. Mine was salty enough from the anchovies, olives, and capers, so I did not add any salt. 
  • As soon as the water boils, boil your pasta (I used spaghetti and mine was just before al dente at around 8 minutes). Drain the pasta when it is just before reaching al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
  • Raise the heat of the sauce a little. Add the pasta to the saute’ pan with the sauce. Stir to combine and add a little bit of pasta water if the sauce is too thick. 
  • Plate up the pasta and add on some chopped Italian parsley. ENJOY!