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Bucatini Puttanesca

Originally from Italy's Amalfi coast, the tomato-based sauce has an even better flavor if prepared a day in advance. From the book "Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Wiley).

  • Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Bucatini Puttanesca

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2007


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, such as Gaeta or Nicoise, rinsed, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup green olives Italian-style, rinsed, pitted, and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers, preferably salt-packed, thoroughly soaked and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 1 28-ounce can best-quality tomatoes, half pureed, half roughly crushed
  • 1 sprig fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  2. Place olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle but not brown, about 30 seconds. Add the olives, capers, and 1/4 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes. Add the pureed and crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for15 minutes. Add the basil sprig, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and the oregano and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, generously salt the boiling water. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm. Set the timer for 2 minutes less than the package instructions specify and taste for doneness. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve with additional red pepper flakes, grated Parmesan cheese, and freshly torn basil leaves.


Reviews (4)

  • KimVM 7 Feb, 2012

    Made this by memory last night and must say it's the best sauce I've ever made. The only thing I forgot was the oregano. Easy too.

  • marilynnes 29 Aug, 2011

    Really yummy! Very favorful!! Will make again.

  • BranPark090 12 Mar, 2011

    This sounds so cheesy, but you can really taste the flavors of Italy in this dish. SO GOOD! I made extra so I can have left overs. If a college kid can make it. YOU CAN

  • 66waterfront 28 Feb, 2011

    This was very nice. I added a tablespoon of sugar, because it tasted a bit too sharp for me. I served half of the sauce with half pound of pasta and saved the other half for another meal. It was better the 2nd time after the flavors had blended.

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