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One Pot Pasta Puttanesca

Loaded with umami, this one pot pasta puttanesca blends the aromatic flavors of capers, kalamata olives and anchovies into a full bodied tomato based sauce. It cooks with the spaghetti all in one pot, making it a super easy meal with very little cleanup.

Pasta puttanesca topped with grated pecorino cheese and basil leaves for garnish.

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Why I love this pasta puttanesca

Puttanesca sauce is a favorite in our house. It’s a quick and easy dinner that’s full of flavor, and it’s made with ingredients we usually have on hand – either in the pantry or the fridge.

Throwing everything all in one pot makes it super simple for any night of the week, and I think we can all get behind that.

I used spaghetti for this recipe, but you can easily replace the pasta with another, but I’d recommend staying away from super small or quick cooking pastas such as angel hair or orzo.

Large stockpot with spaghetti, tomato sauce, capers, onions, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, basil leaves, garlic, and salt

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Close up of pasta puttanesca topped with grated pecorino cheese and basil leaves for garnish.

How to make pasta puttanesca

Measure your ingredients. Chop the onion and garlic, and measure out the remaining ingredients. Place them all into a large stockpot or Dutch oven.

Simmer the pasta. Heat the pot over medium-high heat and bring everything to a slow boil. Allow the pasta to cook until the sauce has thickened and it doesn’t look watery. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning and ensure that the pasta cooks evenly.

Garnish and serve. When the pasta has absorbed a majority of the liquid and has cooked to al dente, remove from heat and allow the pasta to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Top with fresh parsley (if desired) and serve with grated cheese of your choice (we usually go with pecorino romano).

FAQs and tips on making pasta puttanesca

What does pasta puttanesca mean in Italian?

It roughly translates to “lady of the night”. I’ve read various stories from different sources, and most imply that it was something quick for said ladies to cook when they were working.

Is puttanesca vegan?

It is not considered vegan because of the anchovies, but you could potentially skip that ingredient if you would like. I’d recommend adding another form of umami to the mix, such as a splash of soy sauce or an extra pinch of salt.

Are capers related to olives?

Capers and olives are both prominent in the Mediterranean and are typically brined or pickled before use, but the olive is larger and grows on a tree while capers grow on smaller bushes. Olives also have stone pits and capers do not.

Pasta puttanesca topped with grated pecorino cheese and basil leaves for garnish with a basil plant off to the side.

More olive & caper pasta recipes

Other one-pot pasta meals

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One Pot Pasta Puttanesca

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Spaghetti
  • Method: One Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Loaded with umami, this one pot pasta puttanesca blends the aromatic flavors of capers, kalamata olives and anchovies into a full bodied tomato based sauce. It cooks with the spaghetti all in one pot, making it a super easy meal with very little cleanup.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16-ounce package of spaghetti
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 45 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 46 ounces kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil (or a few sprigs of fresh basil)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a Dutch oven or large stockpot.
  2. Bring the pot to a slow boil over medium high heat and allow the pasta to cook to al dente. Stir occasionally help the pasta cook evenly and prevent the bottom from sticking.
  3. When pasta is tender, remove from heat and allow the pot to rest for a few minutes to absorb any remaining liquids.
  4. If desired, garnish with fresh parsley and grate cheese before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 111
  • Sugar: 7.2 g
  • Sodium: 643.3 mg
  • Fat: 2.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.8 g
  • Protein: 4.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.2 mg

Keywords: spaghetti puttanesca, puttanesca sauce, one pot pasta, puttanesca recipe

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