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Summer Pasta Puttanesca in a white bowl with a garnish of fresh oregano

Summer Pasta Puttanesca

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Summer Pasta Puttanesca starts with a delectable sauce made from roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic, and olives. Served over pasta it’s out of this world! This Easy Pasta Puttanesca recipe is perfect for a midsummer meal!

Summer Pasta Puttanesca in a white bowl with a garnish of fresh oregano

Summer Pasta Puttanesca with Fresh Garden Herbs

I don’t have the greenest thumb. Or maybe it’s just that I forget to water my garden. But I love to grow herbs,  and I’m thrilled when the perennials return each spring.

The chives, thyme, oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and mint survived the brutal winter of 2014. Whew. I whipped up this amazing   Summer Pasta Puttanesca utilizing many of those fresh herbs just steps outside my back door.

Easy Pasta Puttanesca in a white bowl over a checkered napkin

Growing Pumpkins in Our Garden

Even though we just have a patch of sunny space in our yard, we always plant a garden. Nowadays, it usually entails adding in a few annual herbs, but when our children were small, we let them tend our plot.

One year, we were very successful with pumpkins. Katie was in Kindergarten and so very proud that she had one pint-sized version to call her very own. It went out on the front stoop next to the jack-o-lanterns that were lit on Halloween.

When the trick-or-treaters were gone, the whole lot went into the trash. Or so we thought. Late in November, Katie’s room started to take on a peculiar odor. I could only ignore it for so long and finally got to sleuthing out the cause of the unpleasant aroma.

I reached under her bed and my hand met with something mushy. You guessed it, she loved her dear pumpkin SO much, she just could not bear to part with it.

And then there were the mini ears of corn that the raccoons absconded with as soon as the sweet yellow kernels were visible.  But none of this dissuaded us from tilling and planting as we continued to create memories from the small square footage we called our garden.

Summer Pasta Puttanesca - a Napoli pasta dish with tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers, garlic and pasta with fresh herbs for a summer version!

Easy Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

I encourage all of you with children to start a gardening project. Use containers if your yard/home isn’t conducive to planting a garden. Start with some pots of herbs placed near your back door. They’ll be easy to water and easy for the kids to harvest by clipping with scissors. They’ll love helping make this puttanesca recipe by delivering herbs to the kitchen.

They are more likely to taste vegetables they’ve helped to grow (I wish this worked with husbands!). Discuss what dishes you can make with each of the fruits, vegetables, and herbs you grow. Teach them about cell reproduction, photosynthesis, the need for rain and sunshine, the benefits of growing your own food, the parts of a plant.

The lessons are endless. Help your children reach for the sky and bring their dreams to fruition.

More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:

Summer Pasta Puttanesca

Summer Pasta Puttanesca

An extraordinary pasta dish featuring roasted cherry tomatoes, olives and herbs over linguine.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 4 servings


Inspired by Cook’s Illustrated

  • 20 ounces (2 pints) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, minced fresh oregano
  • 1 pound linguine or pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped or sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped if large
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (salt may not be needed due the the saltiness of anchovy paste)


  1. Preheat oven to 450º. Line baking sheet with parchment and arrange tomatoes over surface. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, one minced garlic clove, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, tossing half way through. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in well salted water according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid to add to sauce if needed.
  3. While pasta is cooking, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, the rest of the garlic, anchovy paste, red pepper flakes if using and oregano to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring till garlic is cooked, but not brown. Add tomatoes, olives, and capers and cook for a couple minutes. Stir in parsley. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water as needed to thin sauce. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 543Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 597mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 11gSugar: 18gProtein: 15g


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50 comments on “Summer Pasta Puttanesca”

  1. Pasta Puttanesca is putting veggies to great use, Liz. Your photos look very appetizing =) Love the story of Katie and the Great Pumpkin Patch, too. =)

  2. Ha ha Liz! I have kind of a green thumb, but then half way through the season I start neglect the watering part! You do all of that work and forget to water! 🙂 Your pasta dish looks just amazing! Perfect for alight dinner!

  3. What a beautiful dish you whipped up Liz. I’m the same about gardening, not the greenest thumb for sure. Loved the pumpkin story too.

  4. Oh how I can almost taste those roasted tomatoes and herbs now. Totally yummy pasta.

  5. Oh Liz! That pumpkin story really is worse but so sweet at the same time! Katie was just so proud! I love this pasta, simple but full of flavor. I’m going to have to make it when the tomatoes come pouring in.

  6. Wow… this looks so fresh and delicious. Lovely recipe!

  7. Your parsley survived the winter? You must have a green thumb, Liz. I love pasta like this, loaded with fresh tomatoes and lots of herbs. (BTW, I would have gone screaming from the bedroom after I stuck my hand into unknown mush!) 🙂

  8. It would be nice to have a small vegetable or even herb patch but I can even grow a mint ! I must have a black thumb 😀 Your pasta looks good , simple yet very appetizing !

  9. I had a boy who wanted to keep an egg… lol I love kids! What a great dish. The flavors of the fresh ingredients and the olives sounds amazing!

  10. Liz, this summer pasta puttanesca is perfection. packed with tomatoes, olives, capers and parsley. . I am in love!! Pinned! and can’t wait to try this!

  11. I love pasta puttanesca! Yours look fabulous!

  12. Never fails, I either overwater or underwater! This loks like such a fresh, summery pasta dish!

  13. There is a reason yours is my favorite food blog, Lizzy. <3

  14. Mmm… look at those juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs and OLIVES! I love olives in pasta dishes 😀

  15. Oh I’ll bet that pumpkin was a very unpleasant discovery! Your dinner looks good! I lost my huge rosemary bush this winter, I’ve been missing it:@)

  16. This recipe is absolutely gorgeous — I can’t wait to try making it for my family!

  17. You made me chuckle, LIz. Forgetting to water the plants may be an issue – I may have the same problem 😉

    Oh, and I love your recipe. Perfection

  18. This looks amazing! YUMMO!!!

  19. That is SUCH a sweet story about your daughter and her pumpkin!
    I love puttanesca so thanks for the recipe!

  20. Things die when I start gardening. Even herbs. Fact. It’s best I leave that to the pros.

    This pasta looks so fresh and delicious! I love those cherry tomatoes!!!

  21. Another gorgeous dish! You kill me with your beautiful cooking and photography skills!

  22. I just dont seem to have time for the garden all except for my herbs which take no time at all. I love having them. In Australia most schools have a garden which is great. Your puttanesca looks colourful and full of sunshine

  23. Liz, what a lovely version of this dish… must admit I have not yet made this. Even though it’s a cold and frosty morning here where I live, this is fresh springtime meal is making my mouth water.

  24. Looks fantastic Liz, what simple but delicious dinner!

  25. When I was about Kindergarten-age, my dad let pick seeds to plant in our garden, and I chose pumpkins! So fun! Your pasta looks so fresh and tasty!

  26. I haven’t had this dish in year Liz, but always loved it. Yours is picture perfect!

  27. Absolutely delicious Lizzy:)

  28. I love to grow my own herbs too, but usually just some easy kinds. That pasta looks so fresh and delicious, LIz.

  29. I love this pasta dish. I too, don’t have a particularly green thumb but I do have some tomato plants that have self-seeded and are doing really well without me going near them. I do love to grow herbs though as these are something I will use everyday in my kitchen. I don’t have as wide a variety as I would like so I need to plant some more. And as for Katie – it’s just amazing what you’ll find under your child’s bed! xx

  30. Oh Liz, what a sweet story of your daughter and the pumpkin hehe. I don’t have a green thumb either but grow a few herbs as well. This pasta puttanesca looks incredible – I love the sound of all the fresh herbs in here 🙂

  31. Your summery pasta looks mouthwatering, love all the fresh herbs!

  32. I totally dig the name…and it got all the things I like. Not to mention your own herbs…

    eal h.

  33. Yummy!!
    Beautiful looking dish, and I just might make it today for dinner. My husband looooooooooves pasta
    Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  34. Gardening gives me so much pleasure even though I can only grow in pots these days. Your pasta looks terrific.

  35. Your pasta looks great. And I love the pumpkin story!

  36. I wish I had any place to grow at least some herbs..

    This pasta is on my list for a while 🙂 Looks yummy!

  37. This looks amazing, you can’t get any fresher than this!

  38. Your puttanesca looks amazing. I just want to dive through the screen and enjoy. Great pumpkin story. Yuck!

  39. Liz this is one gorgeous plate of food!!

  40. Beautiful as always Liz! I had no idea parsley, oregano, and chives were perennials. I usually do my herbs in pots, but I think I’m going to plant a few of those in the ground this year and hope they come back next season!

  41. Your pasta looks scrumptious, such vibrant colour and flavour 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  42. I’m really looking forward to growing herbs this year and maybe even a few veggies. This dish looks amazing and loved the story of Katie and her pumpkin!

  43. This is one of our favorite sauces to make in our house! I love your recipe, everything is so fresh and gorgeous! I definitely need to make this lovely recipe! Hugs, Terra

  44. Cherry tomatoes are one of my go-to spring and summer ingredients — looks great

  45. Those tomatoes on top have my mouth watering! This looks like the perfect summer pasta dish.

  46. OMG, the Summer Pasta Puttanesca was AMAZING!!! Thank you!!!

  47. Beautiful dish, Liz! Even before my girls turned vegetarian on me, pasta with flavorful tomato sauce has been one of our go-to meals. Now I just omit the anchovy and add a little extra salt. Love this!

  48. OH my this looks so fresh and good! Your daughter’s love of her pumpkin was so sweet right up until you thrust your hand into the rotting flesh! 🙂 Andy and I are planting a couple of tomato plants and some herbs this year. We do not have a lot of sun but we plant in pots so we can take advantage of the sun we have. Ican’t wait to see what his reaction is!

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