Guest Blog: Pasta alla Puttanesca

Once again we have guest blogger Terri from Dear Martini. I love that she creates videos on certain cooking steps to help readers through. Take a look at the great recipe below and make sure you spend some time over at Dear Martini

Pasta a la Puttanesca is literally named “pasta in the style of a whore.”  Why it’s called the pasta for puttanas, I’ll leave it up to your imagination; however, I choose to ignore its impolite connotations and keep all of the ingredients for this dish at my fingertips in my pantry at all times.  The important ingredients for this sauce are crushed tomatoes, olives, red pepper flakes, shallots or onions, garlic and olive oil.  For the piquant briny/salty notes, you can add anchovy paste or chopped capers (if you wish to make it vegetarian).

This recipe falls under my personal category:  PVD (“preparazione veloce e delicioza” or for our vernacular, Quick and Yummy!).  Quick, because if you’ve got decent knife skills, it can be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta!  Yummy, because this sauce is savory, sweet, spicy and satisfying.  Add a side salad and a glass of wine, and it’s an excellent weeknight supper.

Just for you from Dear Martini:  I’ve added some helpful video links from our Dear Martini YouTube Channel.  We’ve got a nice library of cooking technique videos to help you along in the kitchen.  Please take a look and subscribe to our channel! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter – we’d be glad to see you!

Pasta alla Puttanesca


Serves 4


4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot, minced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 2 teaspoons capers, chopped

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half

1 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

½ pound linguine pasta

1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, optional


Set a large (2- gallon) stockpot filled with water over high flame and bring to a boil.  While the water is heating up, prepare your sauce ingredients.

making anchovy paste

Mince the shallots, thinly slice the garlic and make the anchovy paste by mashing three filets with a fork.


Once the water boils, add ¼ cup of kosher salt to the water and cook the pasta to al dente, about 10 -11 minutes.  In the time it takes to cook the pasta, you can make the sauce!


Set a medium-sized skillet or sauté pan over medium-high flame and add the olive oil, shallot, garlic, anchovy paste and red pepper flakes.  Allow the aromatics to infuse the oil as it heats up, about 2 minutes.  Add the olives and sauté until the olives are heated through, about 2 minutes.


Pour the entire contents of the canned tomatoes into the pan and stir to combine with the oil.  Bring the entire sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, for the remaining time it takes to cook the pasta. Taste, and season the sauce with salt and pepper.  Drain the pasta and immediately toss together with the sauce in the same stockpot.  The residual heat from the stockpot will keep everything warm.

Divide the pasta and sauce among your serving bowls and garnish with the parsley and cheese.  Serve immediately.


Chef Terri (www.chefterridien) is a chef instructor-startup entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She is currently working on her own startup, Dear Martini ( while also serving the role of Social Media Gal for the San Mateo County Event Center.  In between startup projects and event coverage, she also teaches cooking classes!  Dear Martini, a media and technology startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area focusing on changing the way people learn to cook by using simple, effective, bite-sized videos. Bootstrapped and supported by generous friends and family, Dear Martini is on its way to developing a web-based application tool to help home cooks synchronize their cooking/searching/learning experience.  Check out Dear Martini’s blog:

March 16th is National Artichoke Hearts Day

In honor of today’s food holiday, please revisit the following recipes that use or feature this ingredient:

Antipasta SaladLemon Butter Chicken

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Categories: Guest, Italian, kosher, Pasta, Seafood

Author:The Ranting Chef

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8 Comments on “Guest Blog: Pasta alla Puttanesca”

  1. March 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Sounds/looks delicious (I prefer the capers to anchovies) !


  2. March 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I heard about ‘prostitute sauce’ years ago and it is amazingly easy and quick…a great substantial lunch. Cannot recommend it enough. On occasion ive used frest chopped tomato instead. I love that even more.(I use capers rather than anchovies.)


    • March 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

      Easy and quick?…Maybe that is where the not so kind name for the pasta came from!


  3. March 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    We’ve always made it with capers and anchovies! No onion or garlic though. Never tire of it.


  4. March 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    This is my favourite pasta sauce!


  5. elackey
    March 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    The Dear Martini videos are great!


  6. Dear Martini
    March 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on Dear Martini and commented:
    If ever there was a quick and easy pasta dish to make for dinner, this is it! Many thanks to Pat, whose blog, Rantings of an Amateur Chef so graciously published Chef Terri’s recipe and photos! We had a great time making this dish for Pat’s blog!



  1. The Story of Puttanesca | Rantings of an Amateur Chef - December 21, 2013

    […] months ago one of my guest bloggers had a recipe for Spaghetti alla puttanesca. In the comments for the week following the post went up was some discussion about the name […]


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