Photo of Pasta puttanesca by WW

Pasta puttanesca

SmartPoints® value per serving
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. If you prefer regular (not whole wheat) pasta, that's fine. Just make sure to adjust the recipe accordingly.


Uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti

12 oz

Olive oil

1 Tbsp

Garlic clove(s)

3 medium clove(s), minced (or more to taste)

Canned tomato paste

1 Tbsp

Anchovy paste

2 tsp

Grape tomatoes

6 cup(s), halved


15 medium, Kalamata variety, pitted, sliced


3 Tbsp, rinsed

Fresh parsley

½ cup(s), Italian variety, chopped (plus extra for garnish)

Crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp

Kosher salt

½ tsp, or to taste

Whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs

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


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and anchovy paste; cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, and capers; cook, tossing, until tomatoes are heated through and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water; drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce along with 3/4 cup reserved pasta water, parsley, and red pepper flakes; cook until piping hot and liquid thickens enough to coat pasta (it’s okay if it looks a little wetter than you’d want, as the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid). Season to taste; serve immediately, garnished with parsley and breadcrumbs.
  4. Serving size: 1 rounded cup