This pasta puttanesca is full of bold flavors and is ready in less than 30 minutes, the perfect dinner for a busy weeknight!
When I’m looking for an easy yet delicious meal, I often turn to pasta. My family happens to love olives, so I often make a quick and easy pasta puttanesca and top it with chicken for added protein. It’s a dinner I know everyone will devour!
Let’s talk about the chicken first. I use thin cut chicken breasts, and I either grill or pan sear the chicken, depending on my mood and the weather. You could really use any kind of cooked chicken breast, even sliced rotisserie chicken breast would work here!
I take a shortcut for the sauce and start with a jar of prepared marinara sauce. The sauce gets enhanced with onion, garlic, capers, olives and fresh basil. There is one secret ingredient here, and that is anchovy paste. Anchovy paste in this pasta does not actually taste fishy, it just adds an extra dimension of savory flavor. If you’re totally against anchovies, it’s fine to leave it out, the pasta will still be delicious. I’ve listed the anchovy pasta as optional in the ingredients so that you can decide which way you’d like it!
I like to use black kalamata olives for this pasta puttanesca. While a black olive is traditional, I’ve also made this dish with green olives with good results.
To prepare this dish, I cook the chicken while the pasta water comes to a boil. While the pasta is cooking, I prepare the sauce. Then I put it all together and serve! This dish is really a complete meal on its own, but on occasion I add a side salad or some garlic bread if we’re especially hungry.
This pasta puttanesca with chicken is the perfect way to have a hearty and flavorful meal in no time!
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- 12 ounces dry spaghetti
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (thin cut preferred)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or equal parts garlic powder, dried basil and dried oregano)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup finely diced onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste (optional)
- ¼ cup capers
- ½ cup kalamata olives
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- While the water is coming to a boil, cook the chicken.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
- Season the chicken on both sides with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the chicken in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until done.
- Place the chicken on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Place the pasta in the pot of water and cook according to package directions.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan.
- Place the onion in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened.
- Add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the capers, olives and marinara sauce, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and return to the cooking pot.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and toos to coat. Stir in the fresh basil.
- Cut the chicken into slices and arrange on top of the pasta, then serve.