From your pantry: pasta puttanesca

This Italian classic is full of flavor, and can be made with items you already have at home.

You don’t need a farmers market to whip up a veggie-packed pasta meal. This dish features hearty tomatoes, chunky olives and many other ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. For extra zing, add some anchovies.

Pasta Puttanesca

Yields 4 servings


  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces dry spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra for tossing the pasta)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or basil
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons jarred capers, drained
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, toss with some oil and keep warm.

Drain the tomatoes into a large bowl and reserve the juice. Using your hands, roughly crush the tomatoes.

In a large skillet over medium-low, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic, anchovies (if desired) and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly golden, about 3 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes, parsley or basil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in the olives, capers and reserved tomato juice. Continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly and the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve with Parmesan.