Spaghetti Puttanesca

The name may be a bit naughty, but Spaghetti Puttanesca is a tasty dish. I’ve seen it countless times on restaurant menus, though I’ve never ordered it. I decided to give the recipe from the November 2003 issue of Everyday Food a whirl last week.

This dish was amazingly easy, which I suppose is part of the history behind the title, hehe. I started by cooking 1 pound of spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, I opened my canned ingredients and chopped up 1/2 cup of pitted Kalamata olives. I heated 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and added 3 minced garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. (I could’ve added 6 mashed anchovies at this point as well, but I chose to skip that optional ingredient.) I cooked the garlic and red pepper for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Next, I added 1 can (28 ounces) of whole tomatoes and their juice, breaking the tomatoes up with my hands. I stirred in 2 tablespoons of capers and the olives I had chopped earlier. I brought the sauce to a boil, reduced the heat to medium low, and simmered it until thickened (about 10 minutes). I tossed the sauce with the cooked spaghetti and seasoned with salt and pepper.


The photo doesn’t look like much, but this was GOOD. Dr. O actually said it was the best spaghetti he’d ever had – he really enjoyed the olives. I’m definitely adding this to my collection of Italian recipes fit for company. Yum!

TIPS: This dish already makes the healthy grade, but you could make it even better by using whole-wheat spaghetti. Gluten-free pasta would work as well.

Recipe link: Spaghetti Puttanesca


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