spaghetti puttanesca

March 14, 2013 § 2 Comments

Years ago I had a friend from Vicenza Italy who cooked remarkable spaghetti dinners. Every Sunday for years I was lucky enough to sit at his table.  He prepared sauces using unimaginable ingredients. Always surprising. Always delicious.  However, as an aspiring cook it was very frustrating for me.  He would never allow me to directly observe his cooking!  He was very secretive.  I would sneak as many peeks as I could.  There was always “something missing” when I tried to put together my own sauces at home.  I learned to develop my own versions of his creations.  Here’s one I love.  Spaghetti Puttanesca “the kitchen sink sauce”.  Only the tomato sauce is cooked.  I think it adds more flavor by keeping the “kitchen sink” uncooked.

 Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 whole garlic cloves-peeled
  • 28oz. can diced tomatoes
  • salt to taste

 “Kitchen Sink”:

  • 8 oz. of pimento stuffed green olives-chopped
  • 3 tbsp. large capers
  • large handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic-pressed


  • 1 lb. of good quality spaghetti – DeCecco’s is great.
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


For the tomato sauce, heat the oil and garlic in a saucepan. Cook until you can smell the garlic, add tomatoes and a pinch or two of salt and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for an hour.  You can either puree the sauce or leave it chunky.

To make the “kitchen sink” combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Boil a large pot of salted water, add pasta and cook according to package instructions.

Drain pasta and return it to the large pot.  Pour in the tomato sauce and “kitchen sink” ingredients. Toss well.

Serve with grated parmesan.

Serves 4


Here’s a variation to this recipe.  A certain someone did not want pasta tonight.  So, I reserved some of the pureed red sauce and presented a soup!  I added a few spoonfuls of the kitchen sink and some parmesan on the top.  Lovely.  He loved it.


buon appetite!


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