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

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

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


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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