Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca (or Spaghetti alla Puttanesca) is a salty, spicy, spunky, easy, one-pot pasta dish made with pantry staples in less than 30 minutes!

Pasta Puttanesca (Spaghetti alla Puttanesca) is a punchy, zesty, umami-rich classic Southern Italian pasta your whole family will love!  It’s the ultimate emergency pantry meal made with a zesty tomato-based Puttanesca Sauce punctuated by briny capers, fruity Kalamata olives, spicy red pepper flakes, garlic and herbs.   You can keep the Puttanesca recipe simple or pump it up with shrimp, chicken or any veggies of choice such as zucchini, bell peppers, or asparagus. Best of all, the recipe is SO easy and extremely forgiving, literally ANYONE can make. Serve it up with a side of Garlic Bread or Buttery Breadsticks to mop up the gutsy Puttanesca Sauce and fresh Green Bean Salad or Roasted Parmesan Broccoli.

Easy pasta dinners are weeknight heroes we all need more of. If you’re looking for more dinner homeruns, you’re family will love Bacon Pasta, Mushroom Pasta, Pasta Primavera, Rigatoni in Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce, Homemade Mac and Cheese, Weeknight Spaghetti, and Chicken Parmesan Pasta.

Pin this recipe to save for later

spaghetti alla Puttanesca video

top view showing how to serve Pasta Puttanesca by garnishing with fresh parsley and Parmesan

What is pasta puttanesca?

Puttanesca Pasta (also known as “aulive and chiapparielle” (olives and capers) is a traditional Italian pasta from Naples that’s said to have been created by Neapolitan ladies of the night.  It’s made from pantry staples to create a rich, zesty, spicy, tomato-based sauce accentuated by anchovies, capers, olives, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sometimes finished with Parmesan and fresh parsley.  Pasta Puttanesca is generally made with spaghetti (Spaghetti alla Puttanesca) linguine, vermicelli and sometimes penne.

How do you make Pasta Puttanesca? 

Pasta Puttanesca is so popular because it can be made with 100% pantry ingredients, aside from the garlic, and can be prepared in just a few minutes.  Here’s how you make it: while the pasta is cooking, sauté the anchovies, garlic and red pepper flakes in extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan so the rich flavors permeate the oil.  Next, add the crushed tomatoes, oregano and pepper and simmer for about 5-8 minutes to thicken.  Lastly, stir in the olives, capers, parsley and Parmesan cheese, if using, then combine with the pasta and possibly some spoonfuls of pasta water.   That’s all!  Spaghetti alla Puttanesca in less than 30 minutes!

WHAT DOES PUTTANESCA SAUCE TASTE LIKE?

Puttanesca Sauce is bright, bold, briny, umami-rich and perfectly balanced with a tomato base and a spicy kick.  If you’re a fan of salty-acidic ingredients like pickles you’ll likely love Pasta Puttanesca.  If you’re not a fan of briny foods, you might still like it, but it’s definitely a gamble.  Instead, you can go with a milder dish such as traditional marinara or Bolognese.

What does Puttanesca mean in Italian?

Let’s just get it out of the way.  Puttanesca is derived from “puttana,” an Italian word for a prostitute. So, Puttanesca” roughly translates to “ladies of the night.”   

Why is it Called Pasta Puttanesca?

Pasta Puttanesca was originally, called “alla marinara,” but the current name began to appear after World War II.  There are various colorful stories explaining how the dish got its current name.  Some say it originated in the brothels of Southern Italy’s Naples because it was a quick, simple, pantry friendly dish the working ladies could throw together in a hurry.  It utilized the sweet fresh tomatoes, olive trees and capers growing from the rich volcanic soil of Mt. Vesuvius and anchovies from the Mediterranean Sea.  When anchovies weren’t handy, sometimes the ladies would add a sea rock from the coastline instead to the pot of boiling water to offer a similarly briny flavor.

Others claim the dish was invented closer to the 1950s, in Ischia, a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples, by an Italian chef.  Story goes that late one night a group of hungry customers asked the owner who was running low on supplies to just whip up “una puttanata qualsiasi,” that is, to throw together whatever ingredients he had, to make something simple.  This plays on the second meaning of the word “puttana,” which is “garbage.”   The restaurateur threw together a simple Puttanesca Sauce made with tomatoes, olives and capers. 

No matter the origins, Pasta Puttanesca is a zesty dish with an attitude that will spice up your dinner rotation!

spaghetti alla Puttanesca being twirled with a fork on a serving platter

WHY THIS Pasta Puttanesca RECIPE WORKS

Many Puttanesca recipes can be too fishy, too garlicky, too briny, or just plain dull and monochromatic.  Instead, this recipe is gutsy and brazen with a simple yet satisfying sauce with aggressive but well-balanced flavors.  Here’s why this Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is a weeknight or company dinner homerun:

  • Pasta Puttanesca is 30-minute meal that tastes like a million bucks.  30 minute meals don’t have to be boring! The is easy recipe takes just over 20 minutes but the complex, umami rich sauce tastes like it’s been simmering for hours. 
  • Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is quick to throw together from pantry staples.  Just keep some canned crushed tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers and garlic in your cupboard, and you can knock out this pasta dinner in a flash, at a moment’s notice.  The only non-pantry staples are the cherry tomatoes and herbs but the tomatoes can be omitted and the herbs can be swapped for dried.
  • The Puttanesca Sauce is intoxicating.  It’s layered with complex salty, savory fruity, briny notes that all come together to create an extraordinary tangy, fiery sauce that will have you licking your lips – and your plate.
  • Perfectly balanced, complex flavors. I wanted to harmonize the bold, distinctly Puttanesca flavors without letting any single element take center stage.  To accomplish this, the garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes are sautéed together in hot oil to develop, blend and permeate the oil, then simmered with the tomato sauce.  This technique creates a full, richly flavored oil base to build upon and marries all of the assertive ingredients together. Now, we have a harmoniously punch sauce without just tasting like garlic, red pepper flakes or anchovies.
  • The anchovies won’t make it taste fishy. Not sure anchovies are your thing? But you love Caesar dressing, right?  This recipe will change the way you think about anchovies. The anchovies add just the right salty something-something without overwhelming the dish. Sautéing the anchovies also tames and evenly distributes the flavor so you aren’t left with an uneven fishy bite. 
  • The flavors don’t get lost.  Many recipes call for simmering the olives and capers in the sauce but this instantly dilutes their flavors.  Instead, saving the olives and capers until the end prevents them from disintegrating in the sauce and getting lost. 
  • The Puttanesca Sauce uses two types of tomatoes.  The use of both cherry tomatoes and crushed tomatoes deliver contrasting depth of flavor and texture with pleasant, juicy bursts of blistered tomatoes.
  • It has Parmesan!  Some say Parmesan doesn’t belong in Puttanesca Sauce, I say it belongs in all pasta because it makes it better.

What pasta should I use?

  • Recommended pasta:  there is a reason Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is the most popular and definitely my favorite, second to linguine and vermicelli.
  • Different pasta shapes:  short pastas such as penne, fusilli, etc. can also be used but they don’t deliverer the same luxurious, slurpilicous experience.  Go spaghetti if you can.
  • Pastas types:  use classic spaghetti, whole-wheat spaghetti or gluten free spaghetti.  I haven’t tried it with zoodles or spaghetti squash but I imagine it would work well.
top view of a bowl of spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Puttanesca Sauce INGREDIENTS

The pungent Puttanesca Sauce is what makes this dish truly distinct.  The ingredients are easy-to-find and pantry friendly so you can whip this dish up any night of the week.  Here’s what you’ll need (full measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Olive oil:  is an important flavor element of this dish so use extra virgin if you can. 
  • Garlic: fresh garlic is sautéed with anchovies and red pepper flakes in the olive oil to infuse the dish with garlicky goodness.  I highly suggest fresh garlic as opposed to powder in this recipe.  I use 6 cloves garlic for a real garlic kick, but use more or less depending on your garlic love. 
  • Anchovies:  are a key ingredient so please don’t skip!  You will need 6 anchovies from a can or jar (more details to follow) usually located next to the tuna fish.  These anchovies have been filleted, salt-cured, and stored in olive oil.  This curing process produces the intensely salty flavor we want for our Puttanesca recipe.  Because the anchovies are going to be minced and cooked, it doesn’t really matter which brand you use. 
  • Red pepper flakes: are needed to spice up the dish to cut through the brininess.  Use ½ teaspoon for mild to 1 teaspoon for spicy.  I used ¾ teaspoon and it was just right for me who likes some heat.
  • Kalamata olives: gems of dark, rich intensely fruity, salty flavor. You’ll want to roughly chop the olives to evenly distribute the flavor throughout the dish.
  • Capers: another key ingredient in Puttanesca Sauce that should be easy to find by the olives at your grocery store. Capers are actually flower buds imported from Italy that have been brined to mellow their bitterness.  The resulting brined capers are tangy, salty, lemony doses of flavOR.  They add both acid and salt which intensify the flavor of the sauce and elevate it to new heights. As always, you can add more or less to taste, but please don’t skip!
  • Crushed tomatoes: will often be called crushed tomatoes in puree. They provide fresh tomato flavor and texture.  I recommend the brands San Marzano and Muir Glen.  San Marzano tomatoes are usually sold “whole” so you will want to pour them into a bowl and crush them with your hands first.
  • Cherry tomatoes: are optional but I love the how they burst into juicy pops of sweet delight in your mouth!  Look for the deepest colored cherry or grape tomatoes you can find because they tend to be the ripest which means they’ll be the sweetest, and the sweeter the better!  If both the cherry and grape tomatoes are ripe, then go for cherry as they tend to be sweeter.  If your store happens to carry Candyland Red cherry tomatoes, snatch them up because they are among the very sweetest! 
  • Parmesan cheese:  is a fantastic salty, nutty addition.  For best results, use ONLY freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  It is much more flavorful.
  • Herbs:  chopped fresh basil and fresh parsley add the earthy freshness.  You will need ¼ cup fresh or substitute with 1 tablespoon each dried and add them with the oregano.
  • Seasonings:  dried oregano and pepper all you need in way of seasonings along with the fresh herbs. 

CAN I USE FRESH TOMATOES?

Absolutely!  Using fresh tomatoes from your garden is a brilliant way to take advantage of their juicy freshness.  You will need the equivalent amount of crushed tomatoes listed in the recipe.  Make sure you blanch and peel your tomatoes first, then working in batches, chop them in the food processor for a chunkier sauce or process further for a soother sauce.  Depending on how sweet or acidity your tomatoes are, you may need to a pinch of sugar.

Do I have to use anchovies?

You may think most people either love or hate anchovies – WRONG.  Anchovies are one of those foods people don’t think they like, but those same people adore Caesar Salad – and the main ingredient in Caesar dressing?  You guessed it, anchovies.  So, instead, I would say most everybody loves anchovies—they just don’t know they do. 

Anchovies are so good because they’re armed with secret weapons glutamic and inosinic acid—two molecules responsible for triggering our sensation of savoriness.  The acids add an irreplaceable depth of flavor and savory sensation. 

In the case of Pasta Puttanesca, anchovies are a key, umami rich ingredient that add saltiness and a savory, complex depth to this otherwise simple sauce without leaving it “fishy-tasting.”  In fact, you probably won’t even realize they are in the dish, aside from the deliciously deep, nondescript umami base they provide. The anchovies are minced and sautéed with the garlic in olive oil so they cook down and literally dissolve into the sauce, taming the fishiness and imparting the signature Puttanesca flavor.  

Moral of the story, please do NOT skip the anchovies unless you need to use the vegan option below.  Spaghetti alla Puttanesca without anchovies is just a briny pasta lacking the balancing savory splendor.

Can I use anchovy paste?

Whole anchovies are preferred when more than just a couple fillets are used, like in this recipe, because the paste can become to salty.  Generally, the rule of thumb is ¼ teaspoon anchovy paste for one anchovy fillet, so use 1 ½ teaspoons in this recipe.  Note, I have not tried this recipe with anchovy paste so I am not sure if it will make it saltier.  You may want to start with 1 teaspoon.

Is puttanesca sauce vegan?  What is a vegan alternative to anchovies?

Traditional Puttanesca Sauce is not vegan due to the anchovies.  You can’t just omit the anchovies or you’ll be missing out on the quintessential punch of umami.  Instead, to make vegan Pasta Puttanesca, add 2 tablespoons mild white or yellow miso paste to the sauce with the crushed tomatoes.  I also recommend adding 1 large crumbled nori sheet to mimic the briny, saltwater fish-like umami notes, but this is optional.

up close of a skillet of Pasta Puttanesca with capers, olives, anchovies, parsley and Parmesan

What should I do with leftover ingredients?

WHAT PAN SHOULD I USE FOR THIS RECIPE?

Recipes with tomatoes should be cooked in a heavy bottom stainless steel pan or nonstick skillet.  Use a pan large enough to combine the pasta and the sauce, otherwise you can cook the sauce in one pan and combine all of the ingredients in the pot you cooked the pasta in.

HOW TO MAKE PASTA PUTTANESCA

You will be amazed at how quickly this Pasta Puttanesca recipe comes together.  Here’s how to make it in just a few steps:

  • Step 1:  Cook pasta. Begin by cooking your pasta just until al dente according to package directions.  Al dente means the pasta will still have a little bite.  Reserve ¾ cup pasta water before draining pasta.  This will give you the option to thin the sauce if needed with reserved pasta water.
  • Step 2:  Sauté garlic and anchovies.  Start off by sautéing the garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is golden and anchovies have melted into the oil. This step blooms the flavor of the garlic and red pepper flakes, eliminates the raw fishy edge off the anchovies and infuses the oil with flavor to provide the punchy base of the Puttanesca Sauce.
showing how to make Puttanesca recipe by sautéing the garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovies in olive oil
  • Step 3:  Add remaining sauce ingredients.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, oregano and pepper.  
a collage showing how to make Pasta Puttanesca recipe by stirring in crushed tomatoes, oregano and pepper to the anchovies
  • Step 4:  Simmer.  Bring to a gentle simmer for 5-8 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and some of the cherry tomatoes start to burst.
  • Step 5:  Add remaining ingredients.  Stir in olives, capers, basil, parsley and Parmesan cheese.  Adding these ingredients with the tomatoes will make the sauce dull and the flavors undeveloped.  Waiting to add them later, preserves their flavor and texture and prevents them from disappearing into the sauce.
a collage showing how to make Pasta Puttanesca by adding chopped olives, capers and fresh parsley to the sauce and simmering
  • Step 6:  Combine sauce and pasta.  Toss the sauce and the pasta in either the pasta pot or sauce pot (whatever is large enough to hold the sauce).  Add additional pasta water as needed to reach desired consistency.  Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
showing how to make Puttanesca recipe by stirring spaghetti into the Puttanesca sauce
top view showing how to serve Pasta Puttanesca by garnishing with fresh parsley and Parmesan

TIPS FOR MAKING spaghetti alla PUTTANESCA

  • Don’t skip the anchovies!  Anchovies add the quintessential salty, savory umami punch. 
  • Use the best tomatoes.  Look for cans of crushed San Marzano tomatoes for this recipe. This variety of tomato is known for its balanced flavor that combines sweetness, tomatoey intensity and just the right amount of acid.  San Marzano tomatoes also contain less seeds which makes them perfect for Puttanesca Sauce.
  • Rinse the capers.  Look for salt packed capers because they have the best flavor and texture, but make sure to give them a quick rinse before using or else they’ll make the sauce overly salty.
  • Use freshly grated Parmesan.  Freshly grated Parmesan from a block is much more flavorful, creamier and melts more easily.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta!  I recommend testing your pasta about 2 or 3 minutes before the box recommends – pasta should be al dente – meaning it should still be a little firm in the center/ have a “bite” to it.  
  • Stop pasta from cooking. Strain and rinse your pasta with cold water to prevent it from continuing to cook if it’s done before sauce is ready to receive it. Then, toss it with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.
  • Add pasta water as need.  If the pasta seems dry after combining with the sauce or even when you’re just ready to serve, add an extra splash of pasta cooking water and give it a toss.  This will revive the pasta and make it saucier.
  • Adjust to taste. Make this easy Pasta Puttanesca recipe your own! Make it more or less spicy, salty or tangy by adding more or less capers, olives, or red pepper flakes.

PASTA PUTTANESCA RECIPE VARIATIONS 

Use this traditional Pasta Puttanesca recipe as a springboard for all sorts of variations. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Pasta: swap in medium-short sturdy pastas such as penne, fusilli, rotini etc. You can use classic pasta, whole-wheat pasta, gluten free pasta.
  • Serve it over other carbs:  this sauce is good on everything, not just pasta! Try the Puttanesca Sauce on rice, potatoes, spaghetti squash, etc.
  • Add a heavy cream:  a splash of cream will transform it into a creamy pink sauce and tame some of the brininess.
  • Add cheese: mix up the flavor profile by adding Gouda, mozzarella, smoked cheddar, Muenster, Fontina or Colby Jack, to the pasta etc.
  • Add protein: the Puttanesca recipe is tasty with any protein. Add sautéed, chicken, shrimp, pork etc.  at the end of cooking.
  • Spice it up: ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes will taste pretty mild when combined with the rest of the ingredients.  I suggest ¾ teaspoon if you want to taste the kick and 1 teaspoon for spicy. You can also sprinkle individual servings with red pepper flakes so everyone can customize the heat.    
  • Add veggies: add any chopped vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, peas etc. Sauté longer cooking vegetables like carrots with the garlic and add shorter cooking vegetables, like zucchini, with the tomatoes.  If using frozen peas, thaw and stir in with the Parmesan to warm through.  If adding spinach, add to the sauce at the end of cooking; allow to wilt 1-2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms:  pan fry sliced baby Bella mushrooms, remove from the skillet then add back to the sauce at the end of cooking. Check out my mushroom chicken recipe to see exactly how I cook mushrooms perfectly.
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes: instead of or in addition to cherry tomatoes, add sun-dried tomatoes.  Purchase the sun-dried tomatoes in a jar packed in oil, not water, located near the olives or pickles at your grocery store. Rinse about ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, pat dry, chop and sauté with the garlic. 
  • More add-ins: try adding roasted bell peppers, artichokes, etc.
  • Make it gluten-free:  serve this easy pasta recipe over gluten-free pasta (Tinkyada is great brand), sweet potato noodles, zoodles or spaghetti squash. 
  • Make it vegan:   swap the anchovies for 2 tablespoons mild white yellow miso paste and 1 large crumbled nori sheet.  Use dairy free Parmesan cheese or omit the Parmesan.

Can you prep this recipe Ahead?

This Pasta Puttanesca recipe comes together very quickly be you can get a jump start on prepping the ingredients if you wish. 

  • Garlic: mince and store in an airtight container/plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • Cheese:  grate the Parmesan and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.   
  • Anchovies:  mince and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Olives:  coarsely chop and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
top view of pasta Puttanesca recipe on a white serving platter being served with a fork

CAN I MAKE Puttanesca recipe ahead?

Yes!  Pasta Puttanesca tastes wonderful reheated.  You can either make the sauce up to 3 days ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or make the entire recipe including adding the pasta to the sauce and reheat when ready to serve.  Just make sure the pasta is cooked al dente initially because it is going to be rewarmed.  Reheat the pasta in a large skillet, adding a splash of water if needed to loosen.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT PUTTANESCA RECIPE

  • Storage: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 five days. 
  • Microwave: transfer portions to a microwave-safe dish, microwave for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30-second intervals until warmed through. 
  • Stove: transfer to a skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring often. You may want to add a splash of water or olive oil if the pasta seems dry.

CAN I FREEZE PUTTANESCA RECIPE?

For the most appealing texture, it is best to freeze the Puttanesca Sauce without the pasta, plus whipping up a fresh batch of pasta only takes 10 minutes.  To freeze the sauce, let it cool completely, transfer to a sealable, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. 

To freeze the sauce and the pasta once combined, let the dish cool completely, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca?

Enjoy this Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca with a simple green salad or any one of the following sides: 

LOOKING FOR MORE EASY PASTA RECIPES?

a bowl of spaghetti alla Puttanesca

WANT TO TRY THIS pasta puttanesca RECIPE?

PIN IT TO YOUR italian or pasta BOARD TO SAVE FOR LATER!

FIND ME ON PINTEREST FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES!  I AM ALWAYS PINNING :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

top view of pasta Puttanesca with capers, Kalamata olives and anchovies in a stainless steel skillet

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca (Spaghetti alla Puttanesca) is a punchy, zesty, umami-rich classic Southern Italian pasta your whole family will love!  It’s the ultimate emergency pantry meal made with a zesty tomato-based Puttanesca Sauce punctuated by briny capers, fruity Kalamata olives, spicy red pepper flakes, garlic and herbs.   You can keep the Puttanesca recipe simple or pump it up with shrimp, chicken or any veggies of choice such as zucchini, bell peppers, or asparagus. Best of all, the recipe is SO easy and extremely forgiving, literally ANYONE can make. Serve it up with a side of Garlic Bread or Buttery Breadsticks to mop up the gutsy Puttanesca Sauce and fresh Green Bean Salad or Roasted Parmesan Broccoli.
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 anchovy fillets, minced
  • ¾-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (may sub 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (may sub 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve ¾ cup pasta water. Drain pasta and return to the pot.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is golden and anchovies have melted into the oil.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, oregano and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer for 6-8 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and some of the cherry tomatoes have burst.
  • Stir in the olives, capers, basil, parsley and Parmesan cheese.
  • Combine the sauce and the pasta in either the pasta pot or sauce pot (whatever is large enough to hold the sauce) Add additional pasta water as needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, red pepper, capers or olives to taste.

Video

Notes

Expert Cooking Tips and Tricks

  • Anchovies:  please don’t skip!  The anchovies are a key, umami rich ingredient that add saltiness and a savory, complex depth to this otherwise simple sauce without leaving it “fishy-tasting.”  You will need 6 anchovies from a can or jar packed in oil usually located next to the tuna fish. 
  • Anchovy substitute:  add 2 tablespoons mild white or yellow miso paste to the sauce with the crushed tomatoes.  I also recommend adding 1 large crumbled nori sheet to mimic the briny, saltwater fish-like umami notes, but this is optional.
  • Crushed tomatoes:  I recommend the brands San Marzano and Muir Glen.  San Marzano tomatoes are usually sold “whole” so you will want to pour them into a bowl and crush them with your hands first.
  • Capers:  look for salt packed capers because they have the best flavor and texture, but make sure to give them a quick rinse before using or else they’ll make the sauce overly salty.
  • Red pepper flakes: are needed to spice up the dish to cut through the brininess.  Use ½ teaspoon for mild to 1 teaspoon for spicy.  I used ¾ teaspoon and it was just right for me who likes some heat.
  • Dried herb substitute:  if using dried basil and dried parsley, add them to the sauce with the dried oregano.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT 

  • To store: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 five days. 
  • To freeze: for the most appealing texture, it is best to freeze the Puttanesca Sauce without the pasta.  Let the sauce cool completely, transfer to a sealable, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.  To freeze the sauce and the pasta once combined, let the dish cool completely, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
  • To reheat in the microwave: transfer portions to a microwave-safe dish, microwave for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30-second intervals until warmed through. 
  • To reheat on the stove: transfer to a skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring often. You may want to add a splash of water or olive oil if the pasta seems dry.
 

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Secrets to
30 Minute Meals

Tips, tricks & recipes to get dinner on the table fast!

FREE EMAIL BONUS