Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca Recipe. Gluten-Free Friendly

Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca

What’s with the risqué name? How can I describe politely the inspiration for this dish’s name? OK. You know what, I will give the job to Wikipedia. I quote:
“Because “puttana” means roughly “whore” or “prostitute” and puttanesca is an adjective derived from that, there is a theory that the dish was invented in one of many bordellos in the Naples Quartieri Spagnoli.
Nice to know the night workers found time to cook and provide for their own sustenance, what with their busy social lives and all!

Pasta Puttanesca Flavor Lineup

Penne Puttanesca



It’s all about having fantastic ingredients on hand, in the pantry as well as in refrigerated. Once you are nicely stocked up, pasta puttanesca is child’s play. The ingredients are so pungent, so gritty and so assertive you just can’t miss. This is the reason it’s ready in no time. While the pasta cooks, your whole sauce comes together!

Ingredient Sources

Only the best. The real thing never need be expensive. It only needs to be…. the real thing! You will taste the difference.

Here I would like to share the source of my ingredients

Anchovy paste. I know I know so many of you recoil at the sight of anchovies, even at the mere idea of them. But what if you dont see them? I can’t remember the food writer who called them “a blessing if disguised”. A little squirt from the tube, and the paste disperses in the sauce completely, spreading the fish love thick. Same for sandwiches, salad dressings and many other treats.

Diced Tomatoes. I am obsessed with this brand. As good as using fresh tomatoes

Olives: A good brand makes all the difference. Either Oil cured olives or calamata, or other premium kind. Too many brands of canned black olives are too mediocre for human consumption: ignore them and go for the real things

Capers: Get yourself a large jar, it is much more cost effective, and will brighten up many pasta, salads, sandwiches and drinks at no caloric cost!

Gluten-Free Pasta: This is my favorite brand. Unbelievable nutritional value. High protein high fiber great flavor: it leaves wheat pasta in the dust, sorry, guys. No need to be on a gluten-free diet to love it.

Vegan Puttanesca?

Yes there is a way. Including it in the instructions.


Ingredient links are in intro above

Makes 6 to 8 main course servings

Puttanesca Sauce

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling on the finished dish
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup anchovy paste
  • 1/2 cup pitted oil cured or calamata olives, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed (place both the olives and the capers in a strainer and run tap water over them to get rid of the excess salt
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed, sliced
  • 2-3 good pinches red crushed pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • generous grinds of black pepper
  • 1 pound penne, or spaghetti or linguini, regular or gluten free, cooked accordingly to manufacturer’s instructions (if you use Explore cuisine edamame spaghetti, one 8-oz box will be enough for this recipe, as it grows a lot), 1/2 cup cooking liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2-2 cups grated parmesan or equally strong cheese (manchego is my great favorite)



Heat the oil in large skillet.

Add the onion and fry until just fragrant. Add the garlic and fry just a few more seconds, not giving it any time to brown and burn.
Now add all the sauce ingredients and bring to boiling point. Lower the flame.
Toss in the cooked pasta and the pasta cooking liquid, and the cheese.

Divide the finished dish among 6 to 8 plates. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a few basil leaves.

Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

Use vegan feta cheese instead of  parmesan, and kelp instead of anchovies, and proceed with the recipe.

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