Posted by: Hil | September 21, 2008

Pasta Puttanesca


Sometimes you have nights where you stumble into the house and, finding absolutely nothing in the fridge, are forced to forage in the pantry for dinner.  And sometimes you’re just in the mood for a spicy, pungent bowl pasta goodness.  In either of these situations, pasta puttanesca is the perfect solution. 


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can of crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 can of albacore tuna
  • 2 tsp capers
  • A squirt of anchovy paste
  • Parsley and basil (fresh is better, but dried also works)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt (optional)

That looks like an awful lot of ingredients, but almost all of them are things that I have in my pantry at all times anyway.  To make the sauce, just soften the onion and bell pepper in olive oil, then add the tomato, garlic, anchovy paste and herbs, if you’re using dried.  When the tomato juices have reduced a bit and the sauce is thickened, add the tuna and capers.  (The husband won’t let me add olives, but if you like, you can also add some pitted, halved, kalamata olives at this stage, too.)  If you’re using fresh herbs, chop them up and add them now.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as you like.  If you like, add some salt, but with all of the salty ingredients in the sauce, you may find that you don’t need it.  Serve over whole wheat spaghetti or any other pasta of your choice.  This makes 3-4 servings of sauce.



  1. Mmm, such a classic pasta dish!

  2. mmmm…I love a good puttanesca!

  3. i’ve been meaning to try this, and you’re right about having those things on hand, great go-to dish!

  4. This is my go to dish when everything else has run out and it always hits the spot! Im trying to cut out animal products tho so Im going to try it without the fish

  5. […] goes to Blueberry Mom for thinking up this fun variant on pasta puttanesca.  Instead of putting the sauce over pasta, try putting it over a scoop of white beans and a bed of […]

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