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Taking a bite of Spaghetti Puttanesca.

Spaghetti Puttanesca

  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 generous servings


  • 1 lb spaghetti, dried - OR 1 1/2 to 2 lbs fresh pasta
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 oz anchovy fillets
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp (or more if you like it spicy) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 oz) black olives, chopped
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups Roasted Tomato Sauce - OR 32 ounces canned crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
  • 4 oz nonpareil capers, drained
  • Chopped fresh parsley and shredded parmesan for serving


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add 1 tbsp of salt. Cook dried pasta according to the package directions, cooking it so that it's just slightly underdone. If cooking homemade, fresh pasta, cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain in a colander set in the sink and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking.
  2. Add the garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes, chopped olives, sugar, salt, and pepper to a small bowl.
  3. In a heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and anchovy mixture. Sauté 2-3 minutes, breaking up the anchovies with your spoon.
  4. Add tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  5. Stir in the capers. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Add the pasta to the pot with the sauce. Toss the pasta around in the sauce for 1-2 minutes to finish cooking the pasta and allow it to absorb some of the sauce.
  7. Serve the pasta topped with chopped fresh parsley and shaved parmesan.


Have some leftover pasta that you're not sure what to do with? Use it to make a simple Pasta Frittata!

A note to vegetarians about parmesan cheese: Most parmesan cheese contains animal rennet and is not vegetarian. This is also true of other cheeses, such as Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, and Gorgonzola, and some french cheeses. There are more and more plant-based vegan and vegetarian cheeses available every day. So, if eating vegetarian is important to you, look for those.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Pasta

Keywords: pasta, easy pasta recipe, quick weeknight dinner, pasta puttanesca, spaghetti