Legend has it that this savory recipe was a favorite of "ladies of the night" in Italy (the term puttanesca derives from puttana, the Italian word for prostitute), who quickly prepared and ate the dish between clients. Now, of course, it's simply known as a flavorful meal that's easy to make in just a few minutes.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta, and cook until pasta is al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain.

  • While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, red-pepper flakes, and anchovies. Cook, stirring, until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, reserved juice, capers, and olives. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

  • Stir pasta into sauce. Cook, stirring, until sauce clings to pasta, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley. Serve immediately.

Reviews (3)

16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
So tasty! The kitchen smelled divine. We're vegetarians, so no anchovies. I substituted half a sheet of nori seaweed, snipped fine and soaked in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, then mashed up with a fork.
Rating: Unrated
Love this, BU,T use only 1/2 l/b pasta and we chose not to do anchovies. Have made this for years.
Rating: Unrated
Anchovies are too strong for me. Use fresh frozen mackerel or salmon. I also add a teaspoon of tomato paste instead of the pepper flakes so the taste of the fish is not overpowered.