Whole wheat spaghetti puttanesca

Quick & Easy

This puttanesca sauce is prepared in just a few minutes from 3 simple ingredients!

Puttanesca is one of my favorite quick pasta dinners.
All you need are the tomatoes, a few olives, a handful of capers, garlic and a pinch of peperoncino.
The sauce can be served with any type of pasta, including gluten-free one. I like spaghetti the most and for this recipe I’ve chosen whole wheat pasta.
Whole grain pasta has not only a lower glycemic index but it’s also healthier than white pasta, because it comes straight from whole grains [ you’ll likely see whole wheat flour as the main item on the ingredient list ] and therefore is packed with nutrients such as complex carbs, protein [ about 15 g per 100 g of dry pasta! ], fiber, iron, magnesium and zinc.

Does whole wheat pasta taste different than the regular one?

Yes. The taste of whole wheat pasta is a little different than the regular, white one. Pasta it’s also firmer in its texture. Not everyone likes it. I think it’s just a matter of getting used to its taste and most importantly, serving it with a rich sauce, and this is what today’s puttanesca sauce is like.

What is puttanesca sauce?

Puttanesca sauce is nothing more than a tomato-based sauce, but enriched with garlic, olives and capers [ traditionally anchovies too ] and something spicy for a little spicy kick.
It originated in Naples and there are many theories about its unusual name. Some say that the name originated in the Spanish Quarters’ brothels [ whore is puttana in Italian, hence puttanesca ]. Others, that it was invented in the 1950’s in a famous Ischia restaurant, late at night, when a group of customers asked the owner to make “una puttanata qualsiasi” – to throw together whatever ingredients to make a simple meal. The owner only had some tomatoes, olives and capers and that’s how he came up with the puttanesca sauce.
No matter where the name comes from, the sauce is brilliant in its simplicity and most importantly super quick to prepare from a few simple ingredients that most have on hand.

Whole wheat spaghetti puttanesca

Servings 2 servings
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins


  • 6 ounces whole wheat pasta dry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic whole
  • 10 olives pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers without liquid
  • 14 ounce can of tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • chili flakes to taste


  • Sauté the garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a pan or saucepan, then remove the garlic.
  • Add tomatoes, olives and capers. Season with salt and chili flakes and cook on low/medium heat for 10 minutes.
    Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, saving some pasta water and add to cooked sauce.
  • Stir together adding 3-4 tbsp of pasta water and cooking for another 30 seconds.
  • Divide the pasta onto two plates and garnish with basil leaves or parsley.


Nutritional value - portion
402 kcal | Carbohydrates 61 g | Protein 16 g | Fat 8.5 g | Fiber 9.5 g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: capers, gluten free option, kalamata olives, tomatoes
vegan puttanesca

How to store and reheat puttanesca sauce?

Make sure to let the sauce come to room temperature. Then store in the fridge, covered for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to a month.
To reheat a single serving, pour it into a small pan and warm it up on the stovetop [ you can also pour it into a bowl and microwave it for a few minutes until warmed through ]. For a bigger batch, just pour it back into the pot and warm it up on the stovetop.
Add to freshly cooked pasta.

More easy pasta dinners:

Pasta arrabbiata
Pasta with roasted pepper sauce
Purple Brussel sprouts and tomato spaghetti
Pasta with fresh tomato sauce

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @vitobites on Instagram and hashtag it #vitobites.
Hungry for more? Subscribe to the newsletter, follow me on Instagram and Pinterest!

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
© Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.