Pasta Puttanesca

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 2 1/2 to 3 cups or 4 to 6 servings
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2 teaspoons chopped and smashed anchovies

2 teaspoons salted or canned capers, rinsed and chopped

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

1/4 cup clam juice (preferably unsalted)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons hot chili paste, finely chopped (recommended: Peperoncino Piccante Chili "Paste")

1/2 cup peeled, seeded, roughly chopped tomatoes (if you don't have any tomatoes on hand, increase the marinara sauce to 2 cups)

1/2 cup each Kalamata and picoline olives, pitted and quartered

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley, optional

1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Smash out the anchovy fillet with the flat side of the knife. After the capers are rinsed, mash those with flat of knife as well.
  2. Whisk the marinara and clam juice together in large sauce pot, season with fresh black pepper, to taste. Add the anchovies, capers, and chili paste, and stir. Add the tomatoes to sauce with the olives. Add parsley, oregano, vinegar, and olive oil. Bring to boil. Check and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Just before serving, warm the sauce and toss in a pan with some hot pasta. Top with grated pecorino. Add some pasta water, if desired, to thin out the sauce. The sauce is also terrific over grilled fish or on a bruschetta.
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