Am I the only one who thinks they’ve measured just enough pasta to feed two or three people and then, once it’s cooked, discovers you’ve got enough to feed the entire neighborhood? Yes, I know there are all sorts of clever ways to measure dry pasta, but I mess it up every time.
Maybe it’s a subconscious thing because cooking too many noodles gives me a great excuse to make Pasta Puttanesca, one of my favorite meals. I love how versatile the recipe is. Don’t like capers? Skip them, but add additional olives — their saltiness goes so well with the fresh tomato and parsley.
Want to make it a hearty main course? Add tuna!
Like your pasta saucier? Swap 1/2 cup for the fresh tomato. You can even switch what kind of noodle you use between angel hair, linguine, or spaghetti noodles.
There’s a reason Pasta Puttanesca is so versatile, and it has to do with its origins. You see “puttanesca” refers to the, um, “working girls” in Italy who made this quick pasta sauce between, er, customers. Let’s just say they knew their way around the kitchen, too, because this is a delicious meal that comes together in mere minutes.
It’s even faster if you use leftover noodles like I do — just heat them for a minute in boiling water and drain them well before tossing with the rest of the ingredients.
Pasta Puttanesca Recipe
- 1 pkg. (1 lb.) angel hair, spaghetti or linguine pasta
- 1 5-oz. can tuna in water, drained and flaked
- 1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped OR ½ cup tomato sauce (or both)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ oz. flat leaf parsley, minced
- 1 red chili, chopped (optional)
- 12 Kalamata or green olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, put remaining ingredients (except for Parmesan cheese) in bowl and mix well.
- Add warm pasta and toss with sauce.
- Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t freeze well, but it does stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. So fresh, in fact, that I’ve been known to make it on a Monday then eat it for lunch all week. It’s just that good!
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