Recipe: Puttanesca Sauce with Fried Capers over Linguine

I absolutely love puttanesca sauce, but tweaking my non-vegetarian version to create it as a vegetarian or vegan recipe has not been something I have been particularly successful at doing.  But this recipe, I am totally excited about.  I think I have found my replacement.  This lovely recipe comes from Vegetarian Times, a magazine that I have a subscription to and I hope you will consider getting a subscription for yourself.

This versatile sauce works great spread on crostini, spooned over soft polenta, or served with poached eggs.
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. capers, drained and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 red onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved (3½ cups)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, divided
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oz. linguine


  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add capers, and fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until many capers have split. Remove capers with slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Add onion to skillet, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, then stir in garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in tomatoes, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to break down. Stir in 1/2 cup basil and olives, and remove pan from heat.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add drained pasta to skillet, and toss to combine with sauce, adding some pasta water if mixture seems too thick. Serve garnished with remaining 1/2 cup basil and capers.