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vegetarian pasta in white bowl with fork

Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


This classic Italian pasta puttanesca recipe features garlic, capers and olives in the sauce to give it a tangy burst of flavor.


  • 1 pound long pasta noodles (spaghetti, bucatini, etc)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 3 anchovy fillets (omit for vegetarian or vegan)
  • 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • Parsley, Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes, for garnish (omit cheese for vegan)


  1. Bring a large pot of of salted water to a boil (about 1 tablespoon kosher salt). Boil the pasta until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic. If the olives are not sliced, slice them in half. In a separate large pot or saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt, and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
  3. Add the olives and capers to the tomato sauce. Continue to simmer until the pasta is done.
  4. Drain the pasta and stir it into the tomato sauce. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley, and additional red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian