Finally! That’s what I need to say first when writing this post for my Pasta Puttanesca recipe. It’s been on my list from the moment I discovered this amazing pasta sauce, but for some reason I hadn’t made Puttanesca for ages. My appetite for its bold flavor was caused by an upcoming cold, that didn’t quite know to what part of my body it would go.

I discovered the Puttanesca only a few months back, and I wonder how I could live without for several decades. Its bold flavors come from tomatoes, capers, olives and salted anchovies fillets. It’s the perfect, cheap and simple pasta sauce that you can make from staple ingredients in your larder.
So picture me last night: feeling sick as a dog, yet hungry, but to weak/tired to stand in the kitchen for an elaborate dinner. Apart from feeling sick, this probably applies to most working people who come home after a long day. This meal can be whipped up in less than half an hour. In fact, I had all ingredients at home, and I even made a second batch today.

I am not feeling as sick as I did yesterday, although the bug has decided to settle down in my nasal passages. I am sure with regular doses of pasta comfort foods (and a little self-pity) I will overcome this in no time.


500g uncooked wholewheat pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 salted anchovies fillets
1 pinch of chili flakes
2 cups fresh ripe tomatoes, finely chopped*
2 tablespoons tomato paste*
1 tablespoon black olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon capers
salt and pepper to taste

* Instead of fresh tomatoes and tomato paste, you can use one 400g can of chopped tomatoes.

Serves 4

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add finely onions, garlic, anchovies fillets and chili flakes and fry while stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, olives, basil leaves and capers. Bring to boil, then simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and pour into sauce. Stir until well coated, then transfer to serving plates. Serve immediately.

30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray (Volume 4): Entertaining Made Easy   Jamie's 30-Minute Meals


  1. puttanesca sauce is literally, “sauce of the whores”. it was a quick sauce made by italy’s working girls, back in the 50’s when prostitution was a civil service job. but the “girls” were only allowed to go to market once a week and had to sometimes make a sauce from whatever they had laying around…(besides the tricks)…. so thats how the sauce got its name.

  2. Looks yum ! i am always looking for great italian recipes !
    @Kevin : wow…. i would NOT have expected that…

  3. This looks delicious and I love that it’s fast to make too!
    Thanks for your nice comment on my blog. I visit your site quite often too and I’m inspired by you.

  4. I love Pasta it is so delicious and some experts says that pasta is a healthy food.

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