One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca

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One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca is an easy recipe for an out of this world pasta dish with a sumptuous puttanesca sauce that you will never forget. The whole thing cooks in one pot, even the pasta! Almost no work required, just dump your ingredients in and let your stove do the rest!

One Pot Pasta Puttanesca in a pan

What is puttanesca sauce made of?

I’m just going to start this off by saying that you’re going to want to make this puttanesca sauce by the end of this- out of pure curiousity. Why?

Not because of the twist on a the traditional tomato sauce that we all know and love. Not because you’re an olive fan. Not because you love the vinegary tang of capers.

No, not because of any of that. You’re going to want to make it because spaghetti all puttanesca literally means “spaghetti in the style of a prostitute.” I swear to God, that’s not a joke.

pasta puttanesca on a fork

I’m Jacqueline, and I blog over at Go Go Go Gourmet– my mantra is all about “less effort, more taste”.

I have definitely achieved that with this incredibly simple, but absolutely delicious pasta dish that is a guaranteed family dinnertime hit. I’m so happy to be bringing my recipe philosophy over to my friends Donna and Chad here at TSRI!

Now, back to my story, I also have no inkling as to why it is that way- I can’t find any actual official record of how this delicious pasta sauce got it’s colorful name, but it’s a great story and I’m sort of in love with it.

Apparently, this dish was invented in Naples, Italy in the mid 20th century. The legend says that the recipe was invented by Italy’s “ladies of the night” as a way to lead men to their doors.

pasta puttanesca in a pot

Who knows the truth, but I have to tell you that I know I am madly deeply in love with this sauce and its delicious Mediterranean flavors.

It starts out by deeply flavoring olive oil with red chili pepper flakes, garlic and briny anchovy paste. Then you build the sauce on the flavorful oil.

The richly aromatic tomato sauce becomes spectacular with the addition of lemony capers and ripe black olives.

It couldn’t be much easier as the pasta cooks right in the sauce and absorbs all of tht deliciousness. This is a keeper!

close up of one pot pasta puttanesca

Helpful Tips to make One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca:

  • I like using anchovy pasta instead of actual anchovies when I cook. As an ingredient, it’s easier to handle, and leftovers are easy to store and it is not offputting to those who are generally opposed to eating anchovies.
  • Try using tongs to twist the pasta in the past half way through for the best results.
  • If you choose to use fresh pasta in this recipe, cut the water to 1/2 cup.
  • Dried Italian Seasoning is a fabulous convenience ingredient. If you do not keep it on hand, combine 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
  • This dish is just spicy enough to make your tongue tingle. For a very mild sauce, reduce the red pepper flakes to 1/2 teaspoon.

What you will need to make One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca:

  • A large deep skillet- wide enough to stir in dried pasta noodles, yet deep enough to easily hold the sauce at its highest volume.
  • Wooden spoon- to stir and break up your ingredients. 


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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pasta puttanesca close up


Check out more of our favorite one-pot recipes:

One-Pot American Goulash

One-Pot Cheesy Pasta and Sausage

One-Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta  

One-Pot Cheesy Greek Pasta with Chicken   

One-Pot Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta   

One-Pot Cheesy Italian Pasta and Chicken  

One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca

One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca

Donna Elick
One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca is an easy recipe for an out of this world pasta dish with a sumptuous puttanesca sauce that you will never forget. The whole thing cooks in one pot, even the pasta! Almost no work required, just dump your ingredients in and let your stove do the rest!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Method Stovetop
Servings 6 – 8


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup whole pitted black olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 pound dried fettuccine
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped


  • In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, anchovy paste, and crushed red pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is golden brown.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, undrained whole peeled tomatoes, olives, and capers. Use a wooden spoon or fork to roughly break up the whole tomatoes and olives.
  • Stir in 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Add dried pasta to the skillet, using tongs to gently work the pasta into the liquid until submerged.
  • Cover and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring twice during cooking, until pasta is al dente.
  • Serve in bowls, with additional basil or parmesan, if desired.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 434cal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 636mg | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 6g | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 4mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  1. I noticed in the body of your blog you mentioned using dried Italian Seasoning, but don’t see any mention of it in the actual recipe. Could you tell me how much, please? Recipe sounds good.

  2. 5 stars
    This was such an interesting and delicious dinner, and it was so easy to make all in one pot! I will be making this one again soon!

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