Puttanesca Penne

Puttanesca penne is a pasta dish originatingย from Naples, in Southern Italy. It is thought that some women (let’s call them ladies of the night) used to make this pasta dish to attract men (let’s assume they were looking for company) with its pungent flavours. Real talk (and after having made it, that totally makes sense ๐Ÿ™‚ ha!) You, on the other hand, could simply use it to lure your family members to the table ๐Ÿ™‚

This pasta dish is heavy on the vegetable factor and ridiculously easy. Plus, it containsย chilli pepper (capsaicin) which builds so much heat, bite after bite after bite. Did you know that studies have shown that people eat smaller portions when food is spicy? This is because it can aid in satiating you (by decreasing appetite) as well as in reducing cravings. Not bad!

Bottom line? It’s a spicy veggie party and you’re invited! And my little finger tells me you’re going to love this one ๐Ÿ˜‰


Puttanesca Penne

Serves: 4


  • 1 box penne (about 450 g)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 450 g), halved (you could also use canned tomatoes)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp. chili peppers
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 4 tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste

For extra protein, add a can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) to the mix ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Cook the pasta according to the box’s instructions (ideally al dente, if you want to respect tradition ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).
  2. During this time, in a skillet, heat the oil and add in the crushed garlic and chili pepper. Cook until garlic softens.
  3. Next, add in the cherry tomato halves and cook for 5 minutes, until they also begin to soften.
  4. Add in the capers, olives and basil (keep some basil for garnish) and cook for a few minutes until everything has cooked together and flavours have mixed well. Sidenote, your kitchen will smell utterly heavenly at this point โ€“ this is normal! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  5. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir gently.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil before serving this comfort food up.


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