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Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

Course: Main Course
Total Time: Under 30 Minutes
Skill Level: Easy
Cost: Inexpensive
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Pasta Puttanesca

Photo by: Mark Shapiro

Easy and filling, this is the perfect recipe when everyone’s hungry and you don’t have a lot of time to cook an elaborate meal. Add capers and accompany with a bowl of vegan Parmesan cheese alternative to serve company.

Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil 
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tbsp/15 ml) 
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes, with juices (see Notes) 
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) tomato paste 
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) dry red wine 
  • 1 cup (250 ml) pitted oil-cured black olives, halved (see Notes) 
  • ¼ cup (50 ml) chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes 
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dried basil leaves 
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dried oregano leaves 
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) hot pepper flakes, or to taste 
  • ½ to 1 tsp (2 to 5 ml) granulated natural cane sugar 
  • 8 oz (250 g) penne or other short pasta 


1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to low and stir in olives, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, oregano and hot pepper flakes. Taste and add sugar, a little at a time, as necessary, to smooth any bitterness. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until thickened.

3. Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for 8 minutes or until tender to the bite, or according to package instructions. Drain. Serve sauce over hot pasta.


For a heartier meal, slice 2 Italian-style soy sausages and add along with the wine.

Add 2 tbsp (25 ml) drained capers along with the sun-dried tomatoes.


Use canned tomatoes with or without seasoning, as you prefer.

Many varieties of black olives work well in this sauce. Try oil-cured, Moroccan or kalamata olives for best results.

© 2005 Maxine Effenson Chuck and Beth Gurney

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 6 servings.

256kcal (13%)
61mg (6%)
23mg (38%)
71mcg RAE (2%)
0mg (0%)
429mg (18%)
1g (5%)
7g (11%)
3mg (14%)

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