← Back to Search Results
American, Italian
Pasta Puttanesca Recipe-8455

Photo by: Mark Shapiro
Comments: 2


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

Nutritional Information

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%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • Littleprince1977

    09.06.10 Flag comment

    Different stories abound regarding the naming of this dish.

    Direct translation: "Whore/Prostitute Pasta" ...SPICY due to the red chili flakes.

    I have not tried this recipe...but have eaten the pasta many times at many restaurants in Italy...and this recipes appears to be very good. I have made my own "garbage" version... To understand that statement... you MUST read this article about the history of this dish.

    After you read the article...you can make your own from what you can find in your larder and frig.
    Buona fortuna e mangia bene (Good Luck and Eat Well)

  • karen_tsg

    04.21.10 Flag comment

    Love this recipe!

Free Activity Kit for Love Monster and the Last Chocolate!

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

the-sushi-experience The Sushi Experience
by Hiroko Shimbo
american-masala American Masala
by Suvir Saran
everyday-chinese-cooking Everyday Chinese Cooking
by Katie Chin, Leeann Chin
rosas-new-mexican-table-friendly-recipes-for-festive-meals Rosa's New Mexican Table: F...
by Roberto Santibanez
the-new-basics-cookbook The New Basics Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins, Julee Rosso
the-bread-bible The Bread Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
hot-sour-salty-sweet Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
fruits-of-the-harvest-recipes-to-celebrate-kwanzaa-and-other-holidays Fruits of the Harvest: Reci...
by Eric V. Copage
ham-an-obsession-with-the-hindquarter Ham: An Obsession with the ...
by Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough
lucid-food Lucid Food
by Louisa Shafia
cooking-for-friends Cooking for Friends
by Gordon Ramsay
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?