Serves 4 Calories 286  WW Freestyle Points 9

First time I had this dish was at an Italian restaurant in Chicago when I was in college.  I remember the night vividly.  I was  having a tough time making a decision on what to order, and my dad said, when in doubt order the Puttenesca.  He said the ingredients all worked so great with each other, I wouldn’t regret ordering it.  He seemed to think, other items on menu could be hit or miss.  As it turned out, he was right.  The dish was delicious with its savory, yet spicy, yet flavorful hints in every bite. There are no standout ingredients- just contributors such as: Capers, Anchovies, black olives, onions, garlic and of course tomatoes.

This sauce originated in Naples in the 1960’s, and while I thought I knew the history behind the sauce, turns out there are a few stories, and they all make sense, so not quite sure anymore which one to go with.  Inge

My original belief was Puttenesca got its name from Ladies of the Evening in Italy, which were referred to as Puttanas in Italy.  It seems ladies of the evening would make this flavorful pasta for their customers when they were finished servicing them.  That made sense because its a quick pasta to make and delicious.  However, when I further researched the history, another story stated the person making the sauce was still the Puttana, however, she was makingI it for herself, because it was quick and easy, and she didn’t have much time between her Johns.  I also discovered one more theory; that restaurants didn’t want to waste any ingredients and olives and capers were often extra ingredients that didn’t get used, so they put it in a pasta and added tomatoes and named it after the Ladies of the Evening, because they were considered garbage.  So those are all the stories. I know.  I suspect, there may be a few more theories circulating.


  • 1 lb pasta
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/2 red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 jar da Giulia Tomato basil
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers


  1. Cook noodles according to instruction
  2. while cooking noodles, heat oil in medium sauce pan
  3. add anchovy paste, red pepper flakes, olives and capers for 10 minutes on low
  4. add da Giulia Tomato Basil and simmer for 10 minutes
  5. drain noodles and toss pasta in pan coating noodles with Puttenesca Sauce