In August, I won a tin of anchovies. Thank you, thank you… yes, it was quite an honor. Please try not to be too jealous.
In the school I work for, we (try) to be as fun as possible, which means playing games frequently. A tradition was started by my hilarious friend and coworker, Liz (who has started a hysterical blog called A Mothership Down), in which game planners give the winners the most awkward, weird prizes they can think of. It started with an extremely creepy antique doll, graduated to a full-sized clown coat rack…
(I think if we ever are in dire need of a substitute teacher, we can just stick this at the front of the room behind the teacher’s desk, right?)
… and has since calmed down to more simple fare, such as a half-burned patchouli candle or, in my case, a tin of anchovies.
I know the clown is very scary, but don’t run away from your computer until you have read this recipe for the easiest, most delicious pasta puttanesca ever! Made with- you guessed it- the anchovies.
Puttanesca sauce is spicy, salty, and a bit briny from the anchovies, olives, and capers. If you don’t like these ingredients, this sauce is not for you. If you do like these ingredients… go grab a pot and let’s get going!
On that note, I used to hate olives. And whisky. Then, I met Zach, who loves both. After I kept trying each of them, I grew to love them both (much like switching to black coffee)!
This pasta is as simple as making an easy sauce in one pot and adding cooked whole wheat pasta to it when you are ready to serve. Use a pre-made marinara sauce as a base to save you some time- I make mine in bulk (enough for four-five meals) freeze it, and use it in times like these.
This was my first time cooking with anchovies and was one of the quickest, most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time! Zach declared it “better than Bella Verona!” (a great Italian restaurant in Salem that we go to frequently).
Weekend Prep: To save some time on a busy weeknight, make this sauce on the weekend and save it in the fridge. When you are ready to cook, simply heat up the sauce and add cooked pasta for a fast and delicious dinner!
- 16 oz. pasta any kind, I used pappardelle
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tin anchovies drained
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 5 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted olives about 20 whole
- 3 tablespoons capers drained and rinsed
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- Romano or Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
- Cook pasta according to directions in heavily salted water until al dente.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet or pot over medium heat.
- Add anchovies, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Keep an eye on the heat; the garlic should cook but not burn. Stir frequently to dissolve anchovies.
- After anchovies have dissolved into the oil and garlic mixture (about 5 minutes), add the olives, capers, and marinara sauce.
- Let simmer for 10 minutes, while you cook the pasta according to directions.
- Drain pasta and add to sauce; stir, and serve with Romano or parmesan cheese.
- This recipe is very quick and easy, but for extra convenience, make the sauce a few days before you plan on eating this. Heat it up and add cooked pasta when you are ready to cook this!
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.