Pasta Putanesca

Pasta Putanesca

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (does not have to be extra virgin)
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped or grated
  • 1 can salted anchovies in oil
  • 6 stewed skinless tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 20 sweet basil leaves sliced
  • 12 green olives sliced
  • 12 black olives sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers drained
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 225 grams pasta I used penne, cooked al dente
  • grated cheese for garnish


  • Heat the olive oil and add the garlic. You don’t really want to brown the garlic. Rather, you want the flavor to get into the oil.
  • If you prefer, you can rinse the anchovy fillet in cold water first before adding them to the pan. Me, I just dumped all the contents of the can, fillets and oil altogether. Stir gently to break the anchovy fillets into smaller pieces but be careful because you really want visible pieces of anchovies in your pasta. Too much stirring and the anchovies might become invisible.
  • Now, add the chopped stewed tomatoes. Add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the sliced olives, capers and sweet basil. Stir then turn off the heat. You don’t really want to subject the basil to the intense heat for too long or it will lose much of its flavor and aroma.
  • Pasta Putanesca
  • Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce. Taste. If the salt in the canned anchovies didn’t do the trick sufficiently, add more salt. But do it little by little.
  • Pasta Putanesca
  • The final step of course is to garnish the pasta putanesca with grated cheese. Parmesan is traditional but my daughters prefer mild or sharp cheddar.