Easy Puttanesca Sauce

Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a really easy dinner you can throw together in just 30 minutes. Just because it’s easy to make, doesn’t mean that it’s less than delicious. This sauce is loaded with flavour. It’s my husband’s all-time favourite pasta sauce. If you haven’t had it before, you really should try it.

If you like garlic, olives and capers, you will love this sauce. Don’t feel like to have to follow my recipe to the letter. If you like more spice, add more spice. If you’re following a vegan diet, just leave out the anchovies and cheese.

You can serve this dish with Parmesan cheese and a little crusty bread for mopping up the sauce. It’s such a satisfying meal.


Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

A zesty pasta sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, olives and capers. You can put it on any kind of pasta you like. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Puttanesca sauce, spagetti puttanesca, spaghetti alla puttanesca
Servings: 4
Author: Rosa
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 or 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped (or mixed olive variety)
  • 2 tbsp drained capers
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 796 ml can of crushed tomatoes (3 1/3 cups)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp salt for pasta water
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Add 1/4 cup extra virgin oil to a medium sauce pot. Turn the burner to medium/low heat. When the oil is warm, add the sliced garlic to the pot. Turn the heat down to low. Stir constantly.  Be careful not to burn the garlic. 

  2. When the garlic is just starting to turn a golden brown, add the red pepper flakes, olives, capers and anchovy paste. Stir for a minute.

  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, parsley and oregano. Stir. Put a lid on the pot. Simmer on low heat until the spaghetti is cooked.

  4. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tsp salt. Add the spaghetti and stir. Cook according to the box instructions, minus 2 minutes.

  5. Use tongs or a pasta ladle to move the spaghetti into the sauce pot. Add a half cup of hot pasta water. Stir for 2 minutes and serve. 

  6. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.