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Kosher salt and ground black pepper
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
teaspoon red pepper flakes
cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
cup (two 4-ounce bottles) drained capers, rinsed, patted dry and chopped
-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained, 1 cup juices reserved, tomatoes crushed by hand into small pieces
cup lightly packed fresh basil, chopped
ounce Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, grated (½ cup), plus more to serve
I love this recipe! It's the answer to 25 years of searching for a good Puttanesca recipe. QQ as to the pasta: Is this workable with homemade pasta? If I were to use home-made spaghetti, would cooking the pasta for just a minute or so provide enough starch in the cooking water?
I'm not getting how two 4-oz. jars of capers (rinsed, drained, dried, etc.) come out to 1/2 cup. Seems closer to 1 cup. (I'm stopping at one jar.)
Once drained you'll need the extra jar to get 1/2 cup of the capers.
The Milk Street Team
Three cheers for cooking with what’s in the pantry. I made this with one 4 oz. jar of capers for 16 oz. of pasta (I increased the other ingredients by 25%; adding a can of diced tomatoes to supplement the 28 oz. can of tomatoes worked well). That was plenty of capers per serving — it comes out to about 2 tsp of drained capers per each of the five servings I wound up with. I also used my pantry items and the bits of olives lurking in the fridge — some ripe, some green, the last of the kalamata. I will make it again with the full-on quantity of kalamatas, but don't be afraid to use what you have of other kinds. I minced up a few of the the soft, mellow, oil-cooked smashed garlic cloves and added them back into the sauce, too, since I like garlic. This is easy and delicious, with a wonderful texture to the pasta (I used bucatini) finished in the sauce.
Made this for dinner tonight!!! OMG, so YUMMY. Since it was just the two of us I halved the recipe. Silly me, my husband and I will be fighting for the leftovers tomorrow. Never disappointed with Milk Street recipes. Please keep them coming.
This is so delicious and easy to make! Kept the garlic in the pan since I like the taste of garlic. Added tuna chunks in oil (can) to add some proteins. Delicious! Thank you Milk Street for the wonderful flavors and exciting recipes!
Wow, this is a 10! Made this last evening, inspired by the Milk Street demo. We loved the texture, flavor and just the right amount of heat. I used Spaghetti with Protein, followed the directions to a T, and will definitely make it again for a satisfying pasta dinner. Served with our homemade Caesar Salad and crusty bread, with a nice glass of Zinfandel.
Made this twice big hit with my friends and family. It would work for my vegetarian friends.
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We’ve tried this a few times now and it’s good, and we didn’t have fresh basil so just omitted it. I love a recipe I can make with mostly pantry items on hand. I’m wondering if I could make this with whole-wheat spaghetti? How would I adjust the cooking time?
Hi Kristen -
We haven't tested this with whole wheat pasta, but it's certainly worth a try! We would focus more on the visual clues in the recipe than the cooking times to ensure the whole wheat pasta doesn't get overcooked. Overcooked whole wheat pasta can turn mushy *very* quickly. Good luck!
The Milk Street Team
The basil adds a wonderful freshness to the flavour. I've made puttanesca many times and didn't even notice the absence of anchovies. Savory and delicious. 10!
I’ve never made Puttanesca with anchovies. It’s always been pretty much this recipe. I got it from one of Lidia’s cookbooks. No basil though.
This has replaced my old stand-by recipe that used crushed tomatoes. I love that I always have the ingredients in the pantry for a night with little time, energy or inspiration.
I’ve made this twice and it’s pretty tasty. Only used one jar of capers.