Puttanesca is a simple and delicious sauce that uses pantry staples to get a crowd pleasing dinner on the table fast!
Puttanesca is full of flavor from the canned olives and tomatoes and brings your pasta dish to a new level. It’s full of umami (that savoriness that makes food satisfying), saltiness, and colors, and is one of my favorite go-to dinner ideas.
Other than garlic, all the ingredients are in my pantry – or my “Cantry!” (and let’s be honest, I may have some pre-minced garlic on hand).
This post is sponsored by Cans Get You Cooking. All content and opinions belong to Mama Loves Food.
We love using canned vegetables in our Pasta Puttanesca If you make this recipe tag it with #cansgetyoucooking, then visit the Cans Get You Cooking site for even more inspiration!
Olive Oil – Use a good extra virgin olive oil if you can.
Canned Anchovy Filets – I love keeping these flavorful little guys on-hand.
Capers – Don’t leave these out! They are actually flower buds that have been brined, and their salty goodness is key to puttanesca.
Black Olives – The black olives add depth of flavor to the sauce. We used Lindsay brand canned olives.
Green Olives – These add saltiness and color. We used Lindsay brand canned olives.
Garlic – Mince or press 10 minutes before using (while you’re opening up cans) to release extra nutrition.
Diced Tomatoes – Make sure you don’t drain them, and look for the no salt added variety. We used Muir Glen brand canned tomatoes.
Canned Tomato Sauce – Pick one without extra flavors, as this will be the base of your sauce. Also, try get one with no salt added as the olives and anchovies are heavily salted. We used Del Monte brand tomato sauce.
Canned Mushrooms – Canned are ideal. I mean, how many times have you bought mushrooms, only to watch them spoil? Canned foods can help Americans reduce the amount of perishable fruits and vegetables purchased and then thrown away! We used Green Giant brand canned mushrooms.
Salt & Pepper – “To taste” is important here! The sauce has lots of salt elements so taste before adding any extra!
Spaghetti – Traditionally, regular spaghetti is used, but feel free to use your favorite.
How Do You Make Puttanesca
First, heat oil in a skillet over medium/low heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
Next, add tomatoes and tomato sauce, saute an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
Then, add remaining ingredients (except spaghetti), simmer on low an additional 5 – 10 minutes.
Finally, serve over spaghetti.
Puttanesca with Canned Vegetables
We love using canned vegetables for our puttanesca recipe. Not only is it a delicious meal that my kids love and one that I can make it right out of the pantry, but it also helps me to cut down on the amount of perishable food that I purchase and then spoils before I actually get a chance to use you.
PLUS, keeping my pantry stocked with canned fruits and vegetables helps me to serve up the recommended 42 cups of fruit and 53 cups of vegetables a family of four needs every week.
How Long Can You Keep Puttanesca in the Refrigerator
You can keep Puttanesca in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. Store your Puttanesca in an air tight container for best results.
Can You Freeze Puttanesca
Yes, you can freeze puttanesca sauce (without the spaghetti) for several months. Place it in an airtight container, allow to cool, then label and freeze.
What Can I Use Leftover Puttanesca For
Leftover Puttanesca can be used as a topping for many things other than pasta. Here are some of my favorites!
- Topping for fish (I love it on white fish, like cod)
- Topping for shrimp (oooh, add a bit of feta and a squeeze of lemon)
- Topping for steaks
- Topping for meatloaf
- Mixed with sausage
- Topping for scrambled eggs
- Thin with a little olive oil and use as a salad dressing
- Toss with roasted vegetables
- Use as a pizza topping
- Mixed with polenta
- Made into a pasta soup
Does Puttanesca Taste Fishy
Puttanesca does not taste fishy. Adding anchovies to a dish adds salt and umami, but not fishy flavor.
If you’ve ever had a Caesar Salad at a fancy restaurant, I’ll bet you didn’t think it tasted fishy, but anchovies are a key ingredient in that dressing.
Is Puttanesca Healthy
Puttanesca sauce is healthy for most diets, as it is full of vegetables and healthy oils. Anchovies are a good source of Omega 3 fats (which are anti-inflammatory), olives and olive oil are a good source of mono-unsaturated fats (heart healthy), and the tomato products are an excellent source of lycopene (an antioxidant).
If you have the puttanesca sauce over meat, fish, or eggs, it is paleo and keto friendly.
What To Serve With Puttanesca
Puttanesca is traditionally served over spaghetti but here are some more ideas of what to serve it over and what to serve with it!
More Like Puttanesca
Puttanesca is a bright and lively Italian dish. Here are some more similar recipes we think you’ll love.
Puttanesca Making Tools
- Santuko knife – My favorite knife for cutting vegetables! This knife is the perfect size and shape, handles great, and is super reasonably priced. Also, I just love that it’s fun and colorful!
- Garlic press – Need fresh minced or sliced garlic, but don’t want to peel or chop your garlic? This garlic press is the bessssssst. We’ve had ours for as long as I can remember (maybe a wedding present?), and I use it several times a week!
- Calphalon everyday pan – This is a 12″ two handled pan that you will use pretty much every day. Which, of course is why it’s called an everyday pan. I have this one and the Le Creuset version. I use a whole lot of pots and pans in my line of work (apologies to my husband, the dishwasher!) and these are by far my most frequently used pans.
- End grain cutting board – This is my absolute favorite cutting board and the one that I get the most compliments on. And p.s. I have a lot of cutting boards. It really is absolutely stunning, and knows how to take a beating. We use it every single day!
How To Make Puttanesca
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 can anchovy filets drained/chopped
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 1 can black olives (we used Lindsay Olives) 15 ounces drained/rough chopped
- 1 can green olives (we used Lindsay Olives) 15 ounces drained/rough chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 can small diced tomatoes 15 ounces NOT drained
- 1 can tomato sauce (we used DelMonte) 15 ounces
- 1 can mushrooms (we used Green Giant) 4 ounces/drained
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti prepared
- Heat oil in a skillet over med/low heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, saute an additional 3 - 5 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients (except spaghetti), simmer low an additional 5 - 10 minutes.
- Serve over spaghetti.