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Puttanesca Sauce

Want to know the secret weapon of some of the world’s best chefs? A killer sauce. A sauce can turbocharge the simplest of “whole food” ingredients into a culinary masterpiece bursting with flavor. A superb sauce is what adds depth and complexity to the entire dinner plate. Think about what Bolognese sauce, Alfredo sauce, or pesto does to spaghetti. It’s the sauce that makes the meal! And yet as important as a sauce is to bringing to life the most basic of ingredients, it is also one of the least understood facets of cooking. Once you acquire a repertoire of sauces, you will be blown away by how effortlessly and quickly you can pull together the tastiest of meals. For example, you can use a sauce to dress your veggies, grilled fish, baked potatoes, whole grain pastas, whole grains, beans, etc. And best of all, most sauce recipes make a large quantity, so you should have plenty of leftovers for several days. But of course, the sauce has to be healthy or you might as well just order Chinese takeout. Making a sauce that is both tasty and healthy is a challenge, but it can absolutely be done. And it doesn’t require a single pat of butter, not a drop of cream, zero mayo, and very little to no oil! Here is a Puttanesca Sauce to get you started borrowed from page 357 of our Clean Cuisine book

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puttanesco sauce
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  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces anchovies, packed in olive oil, drained
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • Pinch of coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add the garlic, shallots, and anchovies and sauté until the shallots soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sugar; sauté until soft, 5 or 6 minutes. Stir in the olives, capers, parsley and red pepper flakes; cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. If you prefer a chunkier sauce leave as is, otherwise use an immersion blender and pulse several times to puree lightly.

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© 2024 clean cuisine Recipe by:

Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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Thursday 28th of May 2015

I'm enjoying your book and blog! You're an inspiration! I was wondering if you ever attempted a dairy-free alfredo sauce.

Ivy Larson

Monday 15th of June 2015

Hi Cindy! Thank you SO much for the positive feedback. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it ;) Also, I am so sorry for the lengthy delay in getting back to you—we were on a one-week cruise and it has taken me about a week to catch up from taking so much time off! Anyway, so funny you mention the dairy-free alfredo sauce because it is on my "to make" list. I am hoping to do so in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

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