Pasta Puttanesca

This is one of my favorite pasta sauces. It isn't a sweet sauce, but it is very flavorful. You can omit the hot pepper flakes or increase them, to taste. If you don't have capers, which are delicious, you can substitute chopped green olives. It is hard to substitute for the anchovies, but don't be afraid of them - they don't add a fishy taste.

Canned anchovies add a richness to the dish. If they are too salty for you, you can gently rinse them off. Omit them too, if you really don't want them, but I would add a few more chopped olives or capers, and I would add a bit of salt to the sauce. Note that if you do use anchovies, you do not add salt.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 or more cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. chili flakes, to taste
  • 2 (16 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 3 anchovies, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • black pepper to taste


Saute the garlic, parsley, and chili flakes in the oil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, medium heat.

Add the tomatoes and dried herbs, stir for 1 minute, then reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.


Add the capers, anchovies and olives, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the black pepper (and fresh herbs, if you are using them) and serve with 1 pound of pasta.

Note: When I make this, I drain one can of the tomatoes, but I keep the juice in case the sauce gets too thick. In that case, I add it in a little at a time until the sauce is the way I like it.

If you grow fresh herbs, of course use them instead of dried.

By Free2B from North Royalton, OH

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