Pasta Puttanesca

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Pasta Puttanesca has been on my mind since we got back from Southern Italy last year. Not only did I eat my weight in pizza, but the Pasta Puttanesca situation in Naples rocked my world.

Pasta Puttanesca was never high on my life of things to make because I used to have a fear of olives. Times change, thank goodness, and these days it’s got everything I want. Briny olives, great quality Genova tuna, tons and tons of garlic and salty capers. It’s my favorite for a quick weeknight meal because literally everything you already have on hand. It’s legit a meal you can make entirely from your pantry and the whole family will be satisfied. (and if you happen to have someone who is opposed to olives, just use only the Castelvetrano olives, I’m convinced they are the gateway olive and all is right in the world when they are in the picture).

I stock the Genova tuna, both Yellowfin and Albacore varieties, in the pantry at all times. It’s the fastest way to pack some great quality protein into a meal WITHOUT having to make a mess in the kitchen. That’s a massive win these days as things have been crazy with Thomas launching a new company! Plus – be sure to look out for Genova’s new packaging with the blue label. It means it’s caught from sustainable fisheries.

Okay – here we go! Get after it!

Pasta Puttanesca

5 from 1 vote
Pasta Puttanesca has been on my mind since we got back from Southern Italy last year. Not only did I eat my weight in pizza, but the Pasta Puttanesca situation in Naples rocked my world.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 anchovy filets chopped
  • 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 or 2 6-oz cans Genova Yellowfin or Albacore tuna in Easy-Open Cans
  • ½ cup pitted black olives rough chop
  • ½ cup pitted castelvetrano olives rough chop
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 pound fettuccine  
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Torn fresh basil leaves for garnish


  • In a large skillet, warm the olive oil with the garlic and anchovies over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is lightly golden, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Drain tomatoes and add to skillet, season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and mixture becomes saucy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tuna, olives, capers and red pepper flakes, and continue to simmer.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and toss with sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, garnish with fresh herbs and serve.


This is a great meal to keep in mind because it’s all pantry ingredients!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 561mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg


  1. So funny! I’ve lived in Napoli for 9 years — never had pasta puttanesca! I don’t even see it on the menu at the restaurants we go to. Gnocchi Sorrentino? Absolutely! Penne Arrabiata? Of course! I’ve obviously led a sheltered life!

  2. Years ago we were on a tour of Italy and our guide shared the story of Puttanesco sauce. Loosely translated Puttanesco means “ladies of the evening”. The women would put large pots of their sauce in the window to draw gentlemen “callers” so in those areas it became Puttanesco sauce.
    Tuna and meats came much later.

  3. I recently made Puttanesca as it coincided with the book A Bad Beginning that I was reading with my boys. I LOVED it and needless to say that my husband and one son hated it. They aren’t big fans of olives, anchovies, and capers (what’s wrong with them?!? ha ha). I had one son that loved it and requests it, so I think that one day I will make him and me a batch and I’ll use your version (tuna fish + castelvetrano olives was the only difference). This is such an easy dish to make.

  4. puttanesca is my fav! I love the anchovies in it but the Geneva tuna is a fun additions. well done my friend!

  5. I made this dish and it was wonderful. My husband isn’t much of a pasta eater but he really like this one!

  6. Yummy! Made this tonight with what I had on hand and it was delicious! Even a terrible cook like me can successfully tackle this one. Thank you!!

  7. Wondering about substituting the anchovies (my small town doesn’t stock it) and an added veggie option to make it “healthier” for the kids.

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