Gwyneth Paltrow Cooking Series #6: Simple Pasta Puttanesca

image source: kelsey banfield

Welcome to my latest installment of the Gwyneth Paltrow Cooking Series where we cook and eat our way through Gwyneth’s new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. I chose to make Gwyneth’s recipe for Pasta Puttanesca this week because over the weekend my daughter was feeling a bit picky and decided she only wanted to eat pasta for two days straight. Her molars are coming in and she was a little grumpy from the pain so I decided to just go with it. When flipping through her book I loved the idea of this recipe because the sauce is all natural is packed with flavor and protein. I am more than happy to serve my daughter pasta loaded up with good-for-you sauces like this one. I made the sauce while she was at school and reheated it on the stove at dinnertime. The sauce was a snap to pull together and we loved its salty, briny flavor from the olives and anchovies. My daughter loaded hers up with cheese while my husband and I leaned more toward a heavy dose of parsley. It turned out to be a great weeknight meal that we will definitely make again.

Gwyneth’s Pasta Puttanesca

adapted from My Father’s Daughter


  • 1 pound penne or any short pasta with ridges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 or 5 olive oil packed anchovies
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup pitted nicoise olives
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper
  • Parsley for garnish


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
  2. In a large skillet heat the olive oil and cook the garlic and red pepper flakes for one minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add the anchovies and stir until they begin to break down. Pour in the capers and olives and gently crush them with a back of  a wooden spoon.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes and the pepper and bring the liquid to a low simmer, stirring everything together. Allow it to simmer slowly for about 10 minutes. Add a little bit of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce to the desired consistency. Add the pasta to the sauce in the skillet and stir well. Serve with parsley!
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