Pasta Puttanesca

When they learned that the sailors would be coming to shore, the women of Naples created a sauce that no mortal man could resist. This is one of my go-to recipes when I’m having a large, casual dinner party. I have never had leftovers…

Pasta Puttanesca


  • 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • Large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20-30 olives, pitted and chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon of capers
  • Large handful of fresh basil, chopped—if in season, 2 teaspoons of dry, if not
  • 1 can flat anchovy filets, chopped (trust me)
  • 1 large can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 box of pasta, cooked el dente


  1. Put on a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. Sautee onions in olive oil in another large pot for 5-6 minutes over medium high heat or until soft.
  3. When onions are soft, stir in crushed tomatoes. (You can make your own crushed tomatoes for a fully home cooked meal. Cook 10-12 chopped plum tomatoes in a separate pot before starting this recipe. Add a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt and mash before using. This adds 30-40 minutes to the cooking time.)
  4. Add in the garlic, olives, capers, basil and anchovies. Lower heat and stir occasionally.
  5. When the water boils, toss in the pasta and stir occasionally. It usually cooks in 9-10 minutes. The box directions are surprisingly accurate. I prefer a pasta with lots of nooks and crannies for this sauce.
  6. When the pasta is done, so is the sauce.

Mangia bene!!


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