Judith Hausman
November 27, 2013


Photo by Judith Hausman

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Pasta puttanesca is a flavorful dish, perfect for fall or winter.

I usually think of pasta puttanesca as a winter dish because it makes wonderful use of the pantry and its salty, strong flavors warm up a winter night. Puttanesca doesn’t relay on fresh vegetables and comes together in a flash.

But for another week or so at least, I have all these greens in the fridge, sturdy greens that should combine nicely with the olives, capers and anchovies that puttanesca entails. Chop them up and into the big sauté pan; then pile in those chopped up greens. That was all it took. In less than 10 minutes, the spaghetti cooked and the whole mess was tossed together with another liberal glug of olive oil and some grated Parmesan on top.

I loved the look of the all-green mix (green on green with spinach pasta, even) but you can add 3 to 4 chopped, fresh tomatoes, a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes or 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes. You can also add a can of oil-packed tuna or chopped bits of ham to the sauté, or, just before serving, some strips of prosciutto.
Servings: 4 to 6


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 10 anchovy filets (1 small can)
  • 1/4 capers, drained
  • 1 cup green, unstuffed olives, sliced
  • 4 to 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions, including green tops, sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno or other hot pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • 8 to 10 cup or more, tender greens (mizuna, spinach, chard, escarole), chopped 


Bring the pasta water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat half the olive oil. Sauté the anchovies, breaking them up, along with the capers and garlic, until just browning. Add scallions, olives and hot pepper with a little more oil. Last, add the greens, stirring to wilt down. Turn off the heat.

Cook a pound of spaghetti, or other pasta shape, about 8 minutes. Drain and toss the pasta with the sauce in the pot, adding the last of the oil and a little of the pasta cooking water if it seems dry. Season to taste. Sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmesan.


You might also enjoy these Locavore Recipes:

Herb and Walnut Pasta

So Many Greens

Read more of Locavore Recipes »

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