Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

This image courtesy of Nicole Alekson

Puttanesca is a Southern Italian specialty featuring a tomato sauce that typically contains olives, garlic, capers, hot pepper, and anchovies. The sauce is most often served with pasta, but it goes great with grilled chicken, too!


Preparation Time15 min

Preparation Time - Text15 MINUTES

Cooking Time1 min

Cooking Time - Text60

Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing



Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturesalty, savory, tangy

Type of Dishsauces


  • 1 large spaghetti squash (about 4 lbs / 1.8 kg)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Three 15 oz (425 g) cans plum tomatoes, (an imported italian brand like San Marzano is best)
  • One 7 oz (200 g) can tomato paste
  • ¾ cup (180 g) olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • One 2 oz (115g) tin anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the spaghetti squash on the sheet and poke about 12 holes in the flesh with a long metal skewer. Bake for 50 minutes.

  3. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

  4. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then add the tomato paste. Press the paste against the side of the pan with a spoon before stirring it in to reduce lumps. Stir about 3 tablespoons of hot water around in the can to get the last of the tomato paste, then add to the pot.

  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

  6. When the squash is done, let it cool enough to touch, then slice it lengthwise and remove the seeds.

  7. Use a fork to scrape out the flesh and separate the strands into "pasta:" Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the puttanesca sauce. Drizzle a little olive oil over all before serving.


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