Recipe: Kale puttanesca

5 Jul

Happy Independence Day! A special thanks to all those who sacrificed for our freedom. Hope everyone had an enjoyable long weekend with family and friends!

Puttanesca is an Italian dish that I’ve always enjoyed but never tried making at home. This dish is begins with some garlic and diced onions, then includes a harmonious blend of flavors from anchovies, capers, and tomatoes. It’s a great alternative regular tomato based sauces, and has a ton of flavor!

My friend J and I made this dish together for dinner, then had dessert wine and brownies. :)

I used real tomatoes, but that canned diced tomatoes may actually work better in this case. I also added kale as a way of incorporating some greens into the dish. If you are a fan of dark greens like kale, you should definitely give this a try!

Recipe: Kale puttanesca
Adapted from All Recipes

Makes 2 servingsIngredients:

1/2 package of whole wheat spaghetti (about 8 oz.)
2 cups coarsely chopped kale
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
1/2 of a sweet onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of drained capers
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
3 anchovy fillets, drained and quartered


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

2. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and begun to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in capers, anchovy fillets, and diced tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Stir in kale, and simmer over medium-low heat until wilted and tender, about 10 minutes.

5. Once the pasta has cooked and been drained, stir into the puttanesca. Toss and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

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  • Maria

    Great idea to add in the kale. I tried this tonight and it was really tasty!!! I modified a little by adding more kale than the recipe called for and a little white wine (about 1/2 cup) to steam the kale. Thanks for posting this dish!

  • Esther

    @Maria – thanks so much for commenting! I always love feedback! Great modifications. I’m so glad it turned out well. 😀

  • e.s.

    thanks for the inspiration! i made this tonight and it just hit the spot. i swapped in bacon for the anchovies — i love anchovies but bacon has a more familiar aroma for lunch at work :)

  • Esther

    @e.s- awesome! Thanks for letting me know. =) Anchovies are like ghosts- they are in there for a subtle baseline flavoring but you don’t taste it. However, bacon always wins in my book!!!