Penne Puttanesca


Penne Puttanesca 2015by Leslie P. Schilling, MA, RDN, CSSD, LDN

I’m not Italian, but I aspire to be. This recipe has been tweaked and, I like to think, perfected over the course of a decade. We even searched for a better one in Italy and couldn’t find it. It’s quick, easy and the robust flavor will knock your socks off!


12-16 oz penne pasta

1/2c high-quality extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp anchovy paste

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 tbsp dried oregano

24-28oz plum or diced tomatoes

1/2c pitted and chopped Kalamata olives

2-3 tbsp capers, drained

1/4c fresh, Italian parsley, chopped


Get your pasta water boiling.

Now start your sauce by putting high-quality extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan with red pepper flakes. Heat to medium heat and stir for about 2 minutes to infuse your oil. Now add chopped garlic, dried oregano and anchovy paste (it’s not overwhelming, I promise). Mix well to get the paste dissolved and now add your tomatoes, along with Kalamata olives and capers. Let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.

When your pasta is al dente, drain thoroughly. Pour pasta into sauce mixture and parsley. Mix and serve very hot.  Wowsers–so good! I like to serve with grilled chicken or sautéed shrimp on top. If you’re not feeling like pasta, it’s fantastic as a sauce over grilled chicken, pork or fish.

mg_0798Leslie is a Memphis-based dietitian specializing in wellness, disordered eating and sport nutrition. She owns Schilling Nutrition Therapy, LLC, and When she’s not counseling, planning super meals, or hanging out with her family, you can find Leslie using her social media channels and speaking platforms to deliver science-based, non-diet lifestyle messages with a dash of humor.