Pasta Puttanesca with Garlic Bread

Pasta Puttanesca with Garlic Bread

Pasta Puttanesca with Garlic Bread will be dinner at our house tonight. We are both having a very busy day and will want something quick and simple.

This is an easy recipe that does not require a bottled pasta sauce from your local grocery store. Clean living means avoiding processed foods whenever possible and most of the processed pasta sauce found on the shelves of your local grocery stores is loaded with sugar and sodium. The process of making your own pasta sauce takes a little time but it is worth investing a half day and making enough to last for six months if you have the time.

Pasta Puttanesca is named after ladies of the evening. The story goes that that was the way ladies drew gentlemen to their door back in the Neapolitan period. It does have an aromatic punch so be sure your partner is going to enjoy it with you because there is no hiding the evidence after eating a dish made with garlic, anchovies, capers, onions and cheese.


8 ounces Uncooked Spaghetti

Cook pasta until Pasta is al dente.*

While spaghetti is cooking, prepare the topping using the following ingredients;

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 whole Red Onion, Sliced
  • 1-1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 3/4 cups organic, low sodium Chicken Broth Or semi-dry White Wine
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • 3 whole Anchovy Fillets, rinsed to remove excess salt.
  • 6 ounces Assorted Pitted Olives
  • 12 whole Basil Leaves
  • 4 ounces Good Parmesan Cheese
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mash garlic, anchovies, and olives using a mortar and pestle, or if you don’t have a mortar, just chop them finely together. Set aside.

Using a fork, crumble the Parmesan cheese or using the larger side of a four-sided grater, grate the cheese.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Add sliced red onions and cook until slightly caramelized.

Add halved tomatoes and capers and cook for a couple of minutes.

Pour in broth or wine and cook for another two minutes,

Add in garlic/anchovy/olive mixture and continue cooking until sauce is reduced one-third.

Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Add the crumbled Parmesan and toss to coat pasta with the sauce

Tear basil leaves and sprinkle over the top.

Serve with warm garlic bread and a side salad

* al dente means “to the tooth” or with just a little bite to it. If your pasta is soft and almost mushy it is over cooked and any nutritional value it had will be poured out with the water.

Prep Time:

10 Minutes
Cook Time:
20 Minutes
Servings: 6 or 4 if very hungry people.

Prep and cooking times include making the side dishes while the main entree is cooking and are approximate, depending on the experience of the cook.

Garlic Bread
Garlic bread should be made in the kitchen and not one of those frozen garlic breads you find in the freezer of your local grocery store.
First, the “butter” used on those breads is not always butter and can be a blend of oil and butter with butter flavor added. You might want to question just what oil they use in the process. Also, what is in the butter flavoring?
Garlic bread is simple. All you need is garlic, real butter, and a nice French baguette. Your can add chopped parsley or chopped chives if you want to fancy it up a bit. (A sour dough baguette works well here)
1 fresh long French baguette
1 stick butter, softened
2 large cloves garlic, smashed and minced.
1 heaping tablespoon freshly chopped parsley or minced chives.
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Heat the oven to 350 degrees

Cut the bread in half, horizontally.

Mix the butter, garlic, and parsley/chives in a small bowl.

Spread butter mixture over the the two bread halves.

Place on baking pan and heat in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the cheese on the bread

Return to the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes until the edges of the bread begin to toast and the cheese bubbles. Watch very carefully while broiling. The bread can easily go from garlic bread to burnt toast.

Remove from oven, and let cool for a couple of minutes and slice into pieces to serve with the pasta.

For the salad, it is best to keep it simple and without any tomatoes as you already have them in the main entree.

bon provecho

Maria and Bill

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2 thoughts on “Pasta Puttanesca with Garlic Bread”

  • Chef,
    I was just trying to come up with a quick but very flavorful dinner to make tonight, and this recipe looks perfect. Our son Timothy is coming home for the evening and I like to make something special when he is here. Nobody else will mind, either. 🙂 YUM. Thank you!

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