I’ve been wanting to try a one-pot pasta recipe for a while, but to be honest, they looked too good to be true for this discerning foodie! My pasta puttanesca is a family’s favorite but it is time-consuming to make so I figured it was the perfect recipe to attempt a one-pot version!
And you know what? It turned out delicious! I could not believe when the sauce thickened up and I taste-tested that first piece of pasta. The noodles were a bit more el dente than I usually prefer and the dish didn’t have my trademark overwhelmingly salty taste – which probably isn’t a bad thing – but that could easily be corrected with a hit of Maldon after cooking.
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I can honestly say that we will be making this recipe again. It was so quick and easy – literally just throw everything in one big pot and cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fewer dishes, less stirring, less work! While I’m all for “working for the flavor,” it was nice to have the option to make a delicious meal a little bit easier. This would be a great meal for the nights when you’re tempted to go through the drive-through or order delivery.
How One-Pot Pasta Works
The starch cooked off from the pasta thickens the sauce, counteracting the water that is used to cook that same pasta.
While I found that most flavours didn’t taste “watered down,” I noticed that the anchovies and salt seemed a bit tamer which I was fine to correct after cooking by adding a pinch of salt to my bowl. However, I do think it’s worth being aware of because the dish actually contained more salt than it tasted like – so it would be easy to serve this recipe to kids and not realize that it contains a decent amount of sodium from the olives, capers, anchovies, and optional salt. This is a recipe that you may need to adjust your normal quantities of herbs and spices for.
Also, because the starch is staying within the dish, your leftovers are going to be a bit firmer than when you have regular leftover pasta. I still found it delicious.
How to Make One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca
First, assemble your ingredients:
- 1-14 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 cups uncooked pasta
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- 2 Tablespoons capers (brine)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 3-5 anchovy filets
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon parsley (I used a paste, but you can use fresh)
- Handful fresh spinach, optional
Pit the olives, mince the garlic, and halve the tomatoes.
Place the water and tomato sauce in a large soup pan and give it a stir. Add all remaining ingredients, except for the optional spinach.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, and reduce to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Taste the sauce halfway through and adjust the seasoning.
Stir in the spinach just before serving.
Here’s your free printable version of this One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca recipe:
Have you ever tried a one-pot pasta? What’s your go-to meal for busy nights?
Be sure to check out these other quick and healthy family favorites:
About the author: Jennifer Tammy is a trained psychologist and single mom who runs a Montessori preschool out of her home in order to stay home full-time with her daughter, Miss G. Every day, she shares easy recipes, parenting inspiration, and hands-on learning ideas on her blog, Sugar Spice & Glitter.