Roasted Pepper Pasta, Puttanesca Style

April 5, 2011 · 22 comments

filed in: Fish/Seafood,Main Courses,Pasta,Side Dishes,Vegetables

Roasted Pepper Pasta, Puttanesca Style

Sometimes the best laid dinner plans go awry. For example, how often have you arrived home late after a busy day to find a scenario similar to the following? Junior was hungry and made an afternoon snack of last night’s leftover meatloaf, which you intended to serve for dinner tonight. The chicken you could have sworn you took out to defrost this morning is still in the freezer. Or your partner was supposed to pick up the beef needed for tonight’s planned cottage pie, but…oops! Now what?

In order to deal with such eventualities, I like to collect, and think up, quickly prepared recipes based on staple ingredients that I always keep on hand in the pantry, fridge, or garden, as in the following recipe. This pasta dish was inspired by the bold flavors of classic Spaghetti alla Puttanesca and uses jarred roasted red bell peppers, canned tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers, garlic, dried red peppers, herbs, and dried pasta. It can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and, served with a salad, makes a lovely quick and easy meal.


12 ounces dried spaghetti, linguine, or other similar pasta
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
2-6 tinned anchovy fillets (I used 4), mashed
1 15-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, very well drained
1 14.5-ounce can good quality tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup good quality pitted black olives, green olives, or a combination of the two
1/2 teaspoon or more dried, crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried, or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh, oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper and salt (if the latter is needed, which it probably won’t be; anchovies and capers are quite salty)
(Optional) Freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a large stock post, bring 2 quarts of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook until just al dente according to the package instructions, drain in a colander, and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, pour the drained roasted peppers and the juice from the canned tomatoes into a food processor or blender and pulse until the peppers are finely chopped but not pureed. Set aside. Separately chop the remaining canned tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or deep frying pan until hot. Add the garlic and anchovies and stir for approximately 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the reserved chopped tomatoes, capers, olives, sugar, dried red pepper, oregano, and a generous grinding or two of black pepper. Stirring continuously, sauté this mixture for about three minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the reserved roasted red pepper/tomato juice mixture and parsley or basil. Simmer for approximately four minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened. Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning, as needed.
  5. Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce, heat for an additional minute, and transfer to a serving dish. Serves 3-4 as a main course or 6-8 as a side dish. If desired, serve with optional parmesan cheese at table.

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Leave a Comment

{ 22 them below or add one }

Anne March 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I love a good pasta puttanesca! Can’t wait to give this a try!


Jaime {sophistimom} April 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Lovely pictures, as always. I love Puttanesca sauce. Now I will love it even more.


claudia lamascolo April 14, 2011 at 5:58 am

Wow this really is awesome with the peppers in it, going to try this the next time lovely dish!


Jeanette April 12, 2011 at 6:44 am

What a nice light easy meal to throw together for the weekday. I’ve made pasta puttanesca sauce, but never with roasted red peppers – what a great idea!


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 8, 2011 at 5:52 am

I love these kinds of pantry meals, they are a real lifesaver when you are low on time.


SMITH BITES April 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

this is one of my favorite dishes – it comes together quickly and yet the flavor is fantastic . . . anchovies are a must in this one!!


Shaina April 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm

What a gorgeous sauce!


Delishhh April 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I am not a fan of olives but i have still always wanted to try a Puttenesca recipe – this just looks fabulous! As always love your pictures.


44Lalley April 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

This might have to be dinner tonight. your pictures are great, so delighted to have found your blog.


sonia April 6, 2011 at 11:06 am

Barbara, the pasta is looking so vibrant and rejuvenating. A perfect bowl to comfort your soul with its delish flavors !


East Coast Gal April 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

Puttanesca is one of our faves! Your blog is lovely. I will be exploring more and trying many, I’m sure.


Maria April 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

Love this pasta dish!


RJ Flamingo April 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

Except for the anchovies, sounds like my pantry, too! This is exactly my style, and I love the flavors!


Karen April 6, 2011 at 8:50 am

Who needs leftovers when we have your fantastic recipes for fast and tasty dinners?! I love the combination of the roasted peppers and herbs. With a nice glass of red wine….mmm!


Marly April 6, 2011 at 7:57 am

Our daily discussion is all about what we should have for dinner. It never seems to be an easy choice. But this pasta certainly looks like a winner!


Shelby April 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I was here earlier and couldn’t see the photos – but man this stuff looks yummy! I have never made puttanesca however I know several people who love it!


Cookin' Canuck April 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm

That first paragraph describes my once a week (at least!) dilemma perfectly. We always have roasted red peppers on hand, so this quick pasta would fit the bill beautifully.


Marla April 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I love these quick last minute sauces that can be made in a pinch. Taste better than anything jarred and most the stuff we find in restaurants. Puttanesca is my all time favorite sauce-great addition with the roasted bell peppers.


Aggie April 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm

This looks absolutely delicious. I love puttanesca…such great flavors! Love your photos and your round wooden plates!


Feast on the Cheap April 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm

You just saved dinnertime. I am bogged down with deadlines and totally lacking inspiration tonight, but I happen to have ALL these ingredients in my pantry/fridge. Printing this out now!


Devaki @ weavethousandflavors April 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Oh what fun – I just made Puttanesca last night but the twist with the red peppers is splendid and your pics are oh my goodness, drool-worthy! chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors


Jenna April 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Your pasta dish with the deep red of the peppers looks lovely! I also try to have a mental stash of ‘plan B’ recipes I can whip up with pantry staples if a key ingredient for plan A happens to be missing, has gone bad, etc. etc.


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