Easy Pasta Puttanesca with Linguine

Quick and easy Pasta Puttanesca is on the table in just 20 minutes! Made with easy to find pantry ingredients like California Ripe Olives, this classic Italian dinner is a hit with the whole family.

Pasta Puttanesca in a white bowl with a wooden fork and pasta in a skillet in the background.

There’s nothing I love more than an easy, carb-y, pasta dish when the weather gets chilly. It’s the ultimate comfort food in my opinion and I love to create easy meals with ingredients I can stash in my pantry with pasta being one of the staples I keep on hand always.

But pasta doesn’t have much flavor on its own so I’m always looking for ways to punch it up just a bit with minimal effort and that’s when I reach for a can of California Ripe Olives.  I snack on olives all the time but they’re also a fantastic way to amp up sauces or, basically, any recipe without breaking a sweat.

I recently had an opportunity to visit an olive grove in Fresno, California and it was everything I hoped it would be….AND more!  First, don’t you think an olive tree is just the most magical and beautiful tree ever?  Plus, it bears one of the best, snacks I can think of.

Olive grove with a charcuterie table set up.

BUT did you know most of the magic of olives is in the curing process because grabbing an olive straight off the tree and popping it into your mouth is not a pleasant experience unless you like bitterness that makes you rethink that action within .5 seconds.

I learned so much on my trip besides the fact that my dreams of eating an olive straight from the tree were crushed with one single bite. Like….95% of the olives consumed in the US are grown in California and there are predominantly two types of olives that you’re eating from the can.

Handful of fresh olives.

 

Sevillano, which are the extra-large jumbo olives (my fave for snacking), and Manzanillo, the smaller olives (which I use in most of my recipes).

Olive trees really are quite magical in that they have minimal pests and predators…..AND they also require low water usages so they’re surprisingly drought tolerant. (to a point.) The grove we visited is approximately 38 years old and their trees start producing around 3 years old.

After the trees are harvested (A majority of olives are harvested BY HAND!), they’re taken to the processing facility where they’re cured with a lye solution to leach out the bitterness and then rinsed thoroughly …..before being pitted and canned.

Kellie Hemmerly of The Suburban Soapbox in an olive grove with a charcuterie tray.

Because olives are a low acid fruit, the FDA required more stringent regulations to ensure the risk of contamination is not an issue. This is all to make sure the consumers are able to safely consume all the olives they want….whenever they want. (which for me is every single day.)

And that’s why I’ve been in the kitchen whipping up things like this Easy Pasta Puttanesca with my favorite black olives. They’re my go-to for so many easy recipes because they add a saltiness that can’t be duplicated any other way.

Overhead shot of Pasta Puttanesca in a red cast iron skillet.

What is Puttanesca Sauce made of?

For my Pasta Puttanesca Sauce, I grabbed the most readily available pantry ingredients I could find…including my favorite California Ripe Olives.

  • Olive oil
  • California Black Ripe Olives
  • Capers
  • Anchovies
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Canned Plum Tomatoes
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Pasta

That’s it….everything ( but the cheese) is pretty shelf stable and when I have fresh basil and oregano on hand I use that instead of dried. The flavor can’t be beat!

Pasta Puttanesca in a red skillet with tongs lifting pasta out of the pot.

Is Puttanesca Sauce spicy?

That really depends on you….if you don’t like spice you can leave out the red pepper flakes but on occasion I get a little heavy handed with the pepper.

If you have family members who are sensitive to heat you can just leave it out and serve it at the table. You do you.

Pasta Puttanesca in a white bowl with a skillet in the background.

How do you make Pasta Puttanesca?

It’s so easy to make this easy Puttanesca sauce, cook the pasta while you make the sauce:

  1. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the garlic, anchovies, capers and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the olives and tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cheese, basil, oregano and pasta tossing to combine.
  4. Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the sauce.
  5. Serve immediately with extra cheese, olives, and herbs, if desired.

Pasta Puttanesca in a white bowl with a fork twirled around the pasta.

What do you serve with Pasta Puttanesca?

I like to serve up a light green salad and some crusty bread with olive oil for dipping.  This easy Wedge Salad is a favorite as are these easy popovers for sopping up the remaining sauce on your plate.

Add a big of crunch with these easy Parmesan Crisps, too!

Pasta Puttanesca in a white bowl with basil on top.

If you’re looking for even MORE easy pasta recipes be sure to try these family favorites:</h3)

Overhead shot of skillet filled with pasta puttanesca and two bowls with pasta and a wedge of cheese on a blue background.

Easy Pasta Puttanesca with Linguine

Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pasta, pasta puttanesca
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 421 kcal
Author: Kellie

Ready in minutes, this Easy Pasta Puttanesca with Linguine is on the table in less than 30 minutes. 

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Capers
  • 2 Anchovie filets minced
  • 3 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced California Black Ripe Olives
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Oregano
  • 1 32 ounce can whole Plum Tomatoes crushed into bite sized pieces
  • 1 lb linguine

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions while you make the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the garlic, anchovies, capers and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the olives and tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cheese, basil, oregano and pasta tossing to combine.
  5. Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the sauce.
  6. Serve immediately with extra cheese, olives, and herbs, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Sauce can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container, refrigerated.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Pasta Puttanesca with Linguine
Amount Per Serving
Calories 421 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 731mg 30%
Potassium 602mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 65g 22%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 6g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 38.8%
Vitamin C 26.5%
Calcium 17%
Iron 12.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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