Food by VICE

Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

Tomatoes are in season? Use them here. Otherwise, canned works just as well in the colder months.

by Amanda Catrini
Jul 18 2019, 11:00am

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


2 pounds|1 kg fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 (28-ounce|795 grams) can whole peeled tomatoes
¼ cup|60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
8 anchovies
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¾ cup|90 grams pitted castelvetrano olives, halved
¾ cup|95 grams pitted kalamata olives, halved
¼ cup|40 grams capers, rinsed and drained
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound|450 grams paccheri or rigatoni pasta
1 cup|25 grams packed basil
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve


1. If using fresh tomatoes, place the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and pulse until blended yet still slightly chunky. Do the same thing if you're using a can of whole peeled tomatoes. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the anchovies and cook, breaking apart into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the puréed or canned tomatoes, sugar, and pepper flakes and cook until thick, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in the olives and capers and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

3. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Strain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

4. Toss the pasta in the sauce to coat. Add the pasta water to loosen up the sauce and toss. Garnish with basil and serve with parmesan cheese.

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