Pasta Puttanesca with Shrimp

pasta puttanesca with Shrimp

Pasta puttanesca is not a dish I would typically make. Though now that I think about, I should. Why is it not a dish I’d make at home? Because it has anchovies in it. I used to not like anchovies. But I’m coming around to it. And this pasta puttanesca with shrimp is one of the most simple and delicious dishes ever.

So here’s a little funny tidbit for a very long time I didn’t like anchovies or asparagus. But what I realized is that it’s all in how it’s made. When I first had pasta puttanesca I didn’t know there were anchovies in it. Of course, as I’ve tasted and cooked more and more food from scratch I realized that there are a lot of dishes I like that use anchovies or anchovy paste.

From salad dressing to pizza to pasta there are tons of recipes that include anchovies. Part of making this pasta puttanesca with shrimp is to use up the some of the anchovy paste leftover from our Moroccan themed family dinner. I made a warm tomato salad that required anchovies. I used anchovy paste instead so I had to figure out what else I was going to cook that required anchovies. One of the first dishes that came to mind was pasta puttanesca. Probably because it was one of the first dishes I’d eaten with anchovies that I loved. I’m hoping you’ll love it too.

One of the things that makes this dish so simple is that there are really no rules. Add whatever you want. Puttanesca is all about using what you have on hand. If you want to add green peppers or spinach do it. Make this dish your own.

Pasta Puttanesca with Shrimp

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 pound of large shrimp (peeled & deveined)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of capers
  • 28 ounce can of diced (crushed) tomatoes
  • 10 black olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • lemon wedges

pasta ingredients



Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat.

Add onions and cook until soft. Then add garlic add cook for about 1 minute.

Add anchovy paste, tomato paste, oregano, red pepper flakes, capers and olives. Stir well.

Add diced (or crushed) tomatoes and cook for about 20 minutes. Sauce will begin to turn a dark red and thicken.

pasta puttanesca

Stir in shrimp and cook until firm and pink (about 5 minutes).

pasta puttanescaOnce plated, add a squeeze of lemon and enjoy.

What other ingredients would you add to this pasta puttanesca?

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