Cooking with Ceci: Pasta puttanesca: A family favorite


Commentary by Ceci Martinez

Treat yourself to this mouth-watering Italian dish, Pasta Puttanesca. I have tried many variations, but this one is by far a five-star dish! This recipe is easy to make, the sauce is exquisite, and best of all, you can make it the night before. Our favorite part of this dish is the leftover sauce, which can transform a simple toasted baguette into an amazing late evening snack!

Note: This sauce can be prepared in advance, allowed to cool, and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days.


Serves: 4

1 Spanish onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup dry red wine

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, pureed

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon fish sauce or 4 anchovies, roughly chopped

1/2 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers

1 pound angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti


In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil, add salt. Stir until onions are translucent, add red pepper flakes and mix. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Add pureed tomatoes, bay leaf and oregano and bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook sauce until it thickens, about one hour. If you wish you can refrigerate the sauce now, or continue the recipe. Add the fish sauce (or anchovies), olives and capers. Bring the sauce to a full simmer over medium heat, then turn the heat to low. While the sauce is warming up, cook pasta until al dente and toss with extra virgin olive oil or butter. Divide warm pasta among serving dishes, spoon the sauce over and serve immediately.

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