Puttanesca Sauce Recipe | Italian Recipes | PBS Food

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


Yield: 2 servings


  • 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.
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