The thing about pasta sauce is that it doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be downright humble like this White Puttanesca, made from ingredients most of us have in our pantry: olive oil, anchovies, capers, kalamata olives, garlic and red pepper flakes. Toss it with your choice of pasta and top it with freshly grated parmesan and lots of chopped parsley and you have an intensely flavorful dish that after the first bite…you’ll know why it’s a classic!

In this recipe…I vary it a bit by adding panko bread crumbs and a hint of cream and butter. Usually I use spaghetti or linguine for this sauce, but this time I used orecchiette which I loved! These “little ears” caught the bits of olive and capers in their fold! Yum!


1 lb pasta – cooked according to package directions, drained and a bit of pasta water reserved.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 or 3 tablespoons of butter

A few slashes of cream or half n half

A few splashes of pasta water (as needed)

1 large clove garlic – finely chopped

1/4 cup kalamata olives – pitted and roughly chopped

1/8 cup capers

1/2 cup parsley – stems removed and chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan



Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook just until garlic begins to color (about 30 seconds) and follow quickly with the capers and the olives.

Add the butter, the cream and half  the parsley. Cook and stir for about a minute until it comes together. Add the pasta, half the parmesan, toss. Add some of the pasta water and a bit more cream if too dry. Season to taste.

Place pasta on a serving plater or individual plates. Top with additional parmesan and parsley.




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