Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Pasta Sauce Episode | PBS Food

Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Pasta Sauce Episode

Martha Stewart's Cooking School Pasta Sauce

In every episode of Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, learn cooking fundamentals following Martha’s signature step-by-step, how-to teaching process. Be sure to check your local listings to see when this episode will be airing in your area.

Homemade pasta sauces far outshine store-bought jars. In this episode, Martha creates four mouthwatering versions: traditional, slow-cooked Bolognese; a quick-and-easy puttanesca; a rich carbonara and a light but unforgettable sauce made with bottarga, a preserved fish roe that is a specialty of Southern Italy.

Watch a Preview

Martha demonstrates how to make Ragu, Puttanesca and Carbonara sauce.

Watch This Week’s Cooking Lesson

Hearty sauces should be paired with sturdier pasta, and delicate sauces should be paired with thinner pasta.

This Week’s Recipe

Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca sauce is surprisingly not very complicated to prepare for a hearty addition to your pasta.



  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound penne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 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)
  • 1/4 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.


This recipe appears in the "Pasta Sauces" episode of Martha Stewart's Cooking School.

Yield: 2 servings

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