Puttanesca Sauce

Last weekend it was quite cold and windy here in Atlanta. Perfect weather for a thick, salty, lusty sauce – puttanesca sauce.  Funny that I call it lusty, as the history of puttanesca sauce is, well, ‘saucy’!  As the story goes, puttanesca sauce originates from prostitutes (puttanas) in Naples, who needed to cook something quick and easy between appointments.

Well, no matter its history, it is indeed a robust, quick and easy sauce. It’s a wonderful blend of tomatoes, olives, garlic, capers and anchovies and trust me, your home will smell AMAZING, as it’s cooking.  This recipe makes 5 cups of sauce, which will either serve 6 or provide enough sauce for a few quick meals. Meant as a pasta sauce, it is also fabulous over fish or chicken.

puttanesca sauce







Puttanesca Sauce

Yield: 5 cups


  • 2 Tblsp Olive Oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tin anchovies, drained well
  • 20 pitted kalamata olives
  • 3 Tblsp capers, drained
  • 1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped (or 2 Tblsp dried parsely)
  • grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a dutch oven
  2. Add the garlic and anchovies. Saute until the anchovies have fallen apart- approx 3 minutes.
  3. Add the olives, capers, tomatoes and parsley.
  4. Turn up the heat until sauce is bubbling.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve over pasta, top with grated parmesan cheese.



  1. Beth Brown says:

    I made this sauce for my family and to share with a friend who just moved. We all LOVED it! The saltiness from the capers and briney-ness of the olives was divine. I have NEVER cooked with anchovies and was a bit hesitant, but they too made the sauce just perfect! We served over angel hair and sopped up the last of the sauce with bread! Too good not to share. And so darn easy to make too. And my blogger friend, the house smelled divine while it was cooking. Will definitely make it again (& again & again!)

    • scrumptious says:

      Beth, I’m so glad you tried and enjoyed the puttanesca sauce. Thanks for your comment, it makes ME want to make it again.

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