Need a light, but VERY flavorful new pasta dish to make on a week night? This is the recipe! Puttanesca is a sauce that is made of garlic, anchovies, tomatoes, olives, capers…. it is delicious and SO easy to throw together. It can be on the table in 30 min flat! I like to add shrimp, but you can add chicken or salmon or no protein and just enjoy the pasta.

I like to use a hearty thick pasta like bucatini, but any pasta that you have on hand will work. Do not run to the grocery store for pasta! And if you don’t already have olives, capers and anchovies in your pantry you need to have these items in stock. They last forever and they are always good to have on hand for a quick meal.

There are obviously many versions of puttanesca since it is such an old “recipe”. I like my sauce on the lighter side, but you can for sure make yours more hearty and add more tomatoes, crushed tomatoes or just use jarred pasta sauce. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the ingredients. These are just estimates. If you LOVE olives then load it up, if you love tomatoes then put two cans in… do what you like!

Now, don’t be intimated or turned off by the anchovies. I really, really do not like fish, but anchovies when used in dishes like this just adds a deep, rich umami flavor. It honestly takes the dish from ok to amazing! When you put the anchovy filets in the pan use your spoon to stir them around and they will break up very easily and dissolve in to the garlic and other ingredients. Trust me on this!! Give it a try!

Shrimp Puttanesca

Servings 4


  • 1 lb bucatini pasta or spaghetti
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 lb peeled and devined shrimp
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped roughly
  • 1/4 Cup capers, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish
  • Basil, chopped, for garnish


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions. Save 1 cup pasta water. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil and butter.

  3. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Cook for 3 minutes a side and remove to a plate.

  4. In the same skillet, add garlic and anchovies. Stir around unil the anchovies break up and the garlic is fragrant. This will take literally 1 minute. DO NOT let the garlic burn.

  5. Add in tomatoes, olives, capers and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

  6. Add back in shrimp and pasta. Combine and check to see thickness of sauce. If too thick add in 1/4 cup reserved pasta water and see if you need to add more water to get the thickness you desire.

  7. Serve with grated Parmesean cheese and basil.

Needed Items