This Dump-and-Bake Pasta Puttanesca is one of the easiest and healthiest pasta dishes that you will ever prepare! Made with a handful of simple pantry staples, it's a low calorie one pot meal that the whole family can enjoy!
I've taken the prep work out of your next dinner by combining all of the raw ingredients in one dish. You don't even have to boil the pasta before you pop it in the oven!
What is Puttanesca Sauce made of?
You may have seen the word "puttanesca" on the menu at your local Italian restaurant, but do you know what it actually includes?
This Italian dish supposedly originated in Naples in the mid-20th century. A classic Puttanesca sauce includes:
- olive oil
If you like a spicy meal, then be sure to add plenty of crushed red pepper flakes, too!
As you can see, Pasta Puttanesca is one of those great meals that you can pull together from ingredients in your pantry.
What is the meaning (or translation) of "Puttanesca?"
I did some research before creating this recipe, and it turns out that the word "puttanesca" has a great story behind it.
Apparently, the name of the dish stems from the Italian word "puttana," which means "whore." ???? This quick pasta sauce was easy for the prostitutes to whip up between customers, and the delicious aroma of the simmering ingredients would draw additional men in.
Want to lure your family to the dinner table? Stir together a pan of this Dump-and-Bake Pasta Puttanesca and watch them come running!
While this is definitely one of the easiest and most flavorful meals that you can serve, I do have a couple of quick tips to make sure that it turns out perfectly every time.
Tips for Preparing the Perfect Pasta Puttanesca:
- Make sure that your pasta and ingredients are evenly distributed in the dish before baking. It looks like a lot of liquid, but trust me -- the pasta will absorb a lot of that broth as it plumps up and cooks in the oven. The starch that the pasta releases will also help to thicken the sauce.
- Stir the dish a few times as you check the pasta (I indicate this in the recipe instructions). Stirring the pasta helps to prevent any clumping or sticking -- just like when you're boiling pasta on the stovetop.
- If you don't care for anchovies, feel free to omit them entirely.
- For an extra dose of protein in your meal, try adding a can of drained, flaked tuna before baking. Tuna puttanesca is delicious, too!
- Season the dish with plenty of fresh Italian herbs, to taste. I love fresh parsley, basil, oregano, or thyme.
- For a spicy meal, try adding crushed red pepper flakes.
- Garnish with grated Parmesan at the end. That's always a good idea!
If you love the ease of this Dump-and-Bake Pasta Puttanesca, you might also enjoy:
- Dump-and-Bake Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Dump-and-Bake Southern Chicken Casserole
- Dump-and-Bake French Onion Chicken
If you’ve tried this Pasta Puttanesca or any other recipe on The Seasoned Mom, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to see what I’m getting up to.
Dump-and-Bake Pasta Puttanesca
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 6 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into small pieces
- 28 ounces petite-diced tomatoes, NOT drained
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 or more anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
- ½ cup pitted black olives
- 2 tablespoons capers
- ½ teaspoon salt decrease or omit for a less salty dish
- Optional garnish: fresh parsley, oregano, basil and/or Parmesan cheese
- Optional variation: add canned tuna and/or crushed red pepper flakes to the dish before baking
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl (or in the prepared baking dish), combine chicken broth, uncooked spaghetti, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, olives, capers, and salt. Stir (or use your hands) to combine everything together.
- Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish and use your gingers to make sure that the pasta is submerged in the liquid and the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time.
- Uncover; stir again. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened a bit. Give the pasta another stir, and then allow the dish to rest for a few minutes before serving. The sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it sits.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese, if desired.