Pasta Puttanesca

This dish’s name literally translates to “whore’s pasta” because it’s cheap and easy. Hmmmm…I’m not sure if that should be disconcerting or not. Either way, this pasta was very easy to make and was definitely delicious. What a great healthy weeknight meal or side dish!

pasta puttanesca
Pasta Puttanesca
adapted from Ellie Krieger, The Food You Crave

8 oz. whole-wheat thin spaghetti, vermicelli, or angel hair
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/8 c. pitted chopped Kalamata olives
2 TBSP capers
1 TBSP fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes with juices, preferably “no salt added”
3/4 c. chopped fresh arugula
1/4 c. grated Parmesan


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium flame.

3. Add the garlic and onions and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the parsley, olives, capers, oregano and crushed red pepper to the skillet, and saute for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the arugula and simmer for 1 minute more, until the greens wilt slightly.

4. When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the skillet, tossing it with the sauce to combine. Top with grated cheese. Serves 3-4.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Anonymous
    February 27, 2009 / 4:59 am

    looks great!

  2. Vivien
    February 27, 2009 / 9:51 am

    not exactly cheap if i were to make them as i am in Malaysia and a chinese, those ingredients are seldom used in our everyday cooking and quite expensive to buy too:arugula, capers etc…

  3. KMAYS
    February 27, 2009 / 11:57 am

    I like the addition of arugula, though traditionally puttanesca would involve anchovies.And Vivien, it was (and is) cheap in Italy where the dish originated.

  4. Kelsey
    February 27, 2009 / 6:40 pm

    Vivien, the cheap and easy refers to the cost of ingredients in its native Italy. Malaysian ingredients wouldn’t be cheap in Italy!KMAYS, the original recipe did call for 1 tsp. anchovy paste. However, I don’t particularly care for anchovy, so I omitted it. I did up the salt intake and use regular salted canned tomatoes to make up for that difference. If you like anchovies, put them back in! The arugula is fantastic, too!Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *