Switch up your pasta routine this week with this quick and easy Penne Puttanesca. It’s the perfect meal for any weeknight, and your family is sure to love it!
Recipe by Leslie Schilling, RDN
I’m not Italian, but I aspire to be. This recipe for Penne Puttanesca has been tweaked and, I like to think, perfected over the course of a decade. We even searched for a better one in Italy and couldn’t find it. It’s quick, easy and the robust flavor will knock your socks off!
Puttanesca is a classic Italian sauce consisting of anchovies, tomatoes, olives, and capers, creating the perfect balance of salty and savory. Canned tomatoes are the star of this dish, providing bright color and flavor, as well as being a nutrition powerhouse. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, a cancer-fighting compound, as well as vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Plus, canned tomatoes actually have a higher lycopene content than fresh, as the cooking and canning process enhances the availability of the nutrient, making it easier for your body to absorb.
- 12-16 oz penne pasta
- 1/2 c high-quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp anchovy paste
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 24-28 oz plum or diced tomatoes
- 1/2 c pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
- 2-3 tbsp capers, drained
- 1/4 c fresh, Italian parsley, chopped
- Get your pasta water boiling.
- Now start your sauce by putting high-quality extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan with red pepper flakes. Heat to medium heat and stir for about 2 minutes to infuse your oil.
- Now add chopped garlic, dried oregano and anchovy paste (it’s not overwhelming, I promise). Mix well to get the paste dissolved and now add your tomatoes, along with Kalamata olives and capers. Let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
- When your pasta is al dente, drain thoroughly. Pour pasta into sauce mixture and parsley. Mix and serve very hot.
Wowsers–so good! I like to serve with grilled chicken or sautéed shrimp on top. If you’re not feeling like pasta, it’s fantastic as a sauce over grilled chicken, pork or fish.
For other delicious pasta recipes, check out some of our favorites: