• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ pound penne

  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 3 oil-packed anchovies, rinsed (optional)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes with their juices

  • 1 tablespoon capers rinsed; drained (optional)

  • ¼ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

  • Basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt boiling water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovies, if desired, mashing with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes and their juices, roughly cutting with kitchen shears or breaking up tomatoes with hands. Stir in capers, if desired, and olives. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add pasta to skillet; toss to combine, and serve garnish with basil, if desired.

    David M. Russell
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