Potatoes Puttanesca: My Spin on a Classic
Most have heard of Pasta Puttanesca, the beloved Italian dish that consists of pasta tossed in an olive and tomato sauce.
My Potatoes Puttanesca is a similar idea.
Except that delicious olive and tomato sauce is tossed into healthy chickpeas and crisp, roasted potatoes.
This simple change transforms the dish without losing the core olive and tomato flavors that make Pasta Puttanesca so popular.
More Breaks from the Traditional
Another way I’ve changed the traditional Pasta Puttanesca is by making my Potatoes Puttanesca gluten-free, vegetarian, and/or vegan. (Don’t serve it with Parmesan to keep this dish vegan).
Traditional puttanesca sauce uses anchovies. My puttanesca sauce recipe does not.
I’ve incorporated capers where anchovies would traditionally go. Capers lend the saltiness so integral to puttanesca sauce without any of the anchovy fishiness.
It’s the perfect substitution that I would have preferred even before going plant-based over a decade ago.
...And a Similarity
One important way that my Potatoes Puttenesca does not stray from the original is how quickly it comes together.
Puttanesca is Italian for lady of the night. Legend has it that that’s how Pasta Puttanesca got its name: it was an easy, quick meal these ladies could prepare between…engagements.
Make Potatoes Puttanesca!
Make my Potatoes Puttanesca this week.
You’ll see why it’s become one of my family’s favorites.
I reccomend getting a tube of tomato paste that you can store in the refrigerator and reuse. It’s much more cost effective than buying a can of tomato paste that always goes bad before you finish it.
You can find tubed tomato paste at Trader Joe’s, but here’s my favorite on Amazon [aff. link].
You can also find my favorite tubed tomato paste in my Amazon store here.
How to Chiffonade Basil
Classic puttanesca sauce is finished with parsley. But since I’m all about switching things up with this dish, I use basil instead.
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Here’s my guide on how to make basil chiffonade, or basil ribbons:
For the potatoes:
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and diced to ½ inch pieces (any white or yellow potato will work)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
For the sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 20 Kalamata olives, diced
- 20 Manzanilla olives, diced
- 1 tsp capers, diced
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp basil, chiffonade, plus more for serving
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
- Parmesan, freshly grated or ground (for serving; omit to keep this dish vegan)
- 6-8 cups arugula, for serving
Roast the potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper, and olive oil to a baking sheet. Now toss everything together until the potatoes are coated in the oil and seasonings.
- Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes.
- Take the potatoes out of the oven, flip each potato piece so that a different side of each potato is face down on the baking sheet, and roast for another 15 minutes. Potatoes are done, set aside.
- While the potatoes roast, make your puttanesca sauce.
Cook the tomatoes
- In a large skillet, heat the garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil for 30 seconds over medium heat.
- Now add the tomato halves and ½ tsp sea salt.
- Cook the tomatoes over medium heat for eight minutes, tossing occasionally with your spatula. The tomatoes will soften, release their juices, and break down a bit.
Add the olives and seasonings
- Now add in the olives, remaining ¼ tsp sea salt, tomato paste, brown sugar, capers, and the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil.
- Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Turn off the heat, and add the basil chiffonade. Mix it into the olive and tomato mixture with your spatula.
Bring it all together
- Your potatoes and puttanesca sauce should each finish cooking at just about the same time.
- Once both are done, simply add the roasted potatoes and drained chickpeas to the pan with the puttanesca sauce. Mix it all together until each potato and chickpea is coated in the puttanesca sauce.
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve my Potatoes Puttanesca on top of a bed of arugula, and garnish each plate with additional basil chiffonade and Parmesan, if desired.