This Pasta Puttanesca recipe is a delicious, easy meal to make on busy weeknights. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a great late-night dish after you’ve come home from a boozy Book Club meeting. Trust me on that, or find out for yourself!
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 of tomato sauce for the fresh tomato, or whip up a quick and easy marinara sauce while the pasta cooks. You can even switch what kind of noodle you use between angel hair, linguine, or spaghetti noodles.
About that name…
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
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!
- 1 lb angel hair pasta
- 1 medium Roma Tomato chopped, juices reserved
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 oz flat leaf parsley minced
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes optional
- 12 Kalamata or green olives pitted and chopped
- 1 small lemon juiced
- 2 tbsp capers drained and rinsed
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 5-oz can tuna flaked (optional)
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta cooks, add remaining ingredients -- except for Parmesan -- to a large bowl.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add drained pasta to the other ingredients in the bowl. Stir to combine using as much or little of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to make it slightly saucy. Divide between serving plates and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.