Pasta Puttanesca

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Bart van Olphen/The Tinned Fish Cookbook

Wait, you’re not cooking with tinned fish? Time to make it a pantry staple, considering it’s versatile, flavorful and lasts for ages. Bart van Olphen’s The Tinned Fish Cookbook is basically an ode to the ingredient. First on our list is this pasta puttanesca, which comes together in all of 15 minutes’ time.

And if you’re worried about convincing an anchovy-hater to try this dish, the little guys practically melt into the sauce. If you didn’t tell them there were anchovies in there, they probably wouldn’t notice. We’d be willing to bet money on that.

Recipe from The Tinned Fish Cookbook: Easy-to-Make Meals from Ocean to Plate—Sustainably Canned, 100% Delicious © Bart van Olphen 2019, 2020. Translation © The Experiment, 2020. Reprinted by permission of The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

Spicy Bucatini Amatriciana


Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 shallot, diced

One 2-ounce (45g) tin anchovies, drained

One 14-ounce (400g) can whole peeled tomatoes

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2½ cups (200g) penne (or any other kind of dried pasta)

10 Niçoise olives, pitted

1 cup (100g) halved cherry tomatoes

Two 5-ounce (140g) tins tuna (preferred pole & line caught and MSC certified) in olive oil, drained

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed

½ bunch of basil, leaves only


1. Heat a generous splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the garlic and shallot until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the anchovy fillets and let them “melt” while stirring continuously, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and let the mixture simmer with a lid on, about 4 minutes, then crush the mixture with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the pasta to al dente or according to the package directions.

4. Add the olives and cherry tomatoes to the shallot-tomato mixture and gently simmer over low heat, about 3 minutes. Fold in the drained tuna, and heat through for about 2 minutes, then season with pepper and salt if needed.

5. Drain the pasta in a colander, then carefully stir the pasta into the tomato sauce. Divide the pasta puttanesca between two plates, drizzle with olive oil and serve garnished with basil.

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