Photo of Pasta puttanesca by WW

Pasta puttanesca

Points® value
Total Time
40 min
25 min
15 min
Serve this classic Italian puttanesca recipe with an arugula and tomato salad or simple, seasoned, roasted vegetables. The quick-prep pasta sauce, which features tomato paste, anchovy paste, grape tomatoes, olives, and capers, cooks in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. For the best results, try to time it so you’re draining the pasta when the sauce is ready; you're going to need that pasta cooking liquid to create a glossy, starchy, delicious sauce, so be sure not to drain it all.


Kosher salt

½ tsp(s), or more to taste, plus more for salting water

Uncooked whole wheat spaghetti

12 oz

Olive oil

1 tbsp(s)


3 clove(s), large, minced

Canned tomato paste

1 tbsp(s)

Anchovy paste

2 tsp(s)

Grape tomatoes

6 cup(s), halved


15 medium, Kalamata variety, pitted, sliced


3 tbsp(s), rinsed

Fresh parsley

½ cup(s), Italian variety, chopped, plus more for serving

Crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp(s)

Whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

¼ cup(s), toasted in dry pan until browned


  1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and anchovy paste and cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste starts to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, and 1⁄2 tsp salt and cook, tossing, until tomatoes are heated through and begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce along with 3⁄4 cup reserved cooking water, 1⁄2 cup parsley, and crushed red pepper and cook, tossing, until sauce is piping hot and thickens enough to coat pasta. (It’s OK if the pasta looks a little wetter than you want, as it will continue to absorb liquid.) Season with salt to taste and garnish with more parsley and breadcrumbs.
  4. Serving size: 1 rounded cup