Gluten Free Penne Puttanesca – A 15 Minute, Budget Meal Idea


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I absolutely love this Gluten Free Penne Puttanesca during the summer months. The salty and spicey sauce is packed with garlic, anchovies, chilli, olives and capers. Ready in just 15 minutes and perfect for serving in the sunshine or batch cooking.

A pan of penne puttanesca.

If you want a rich and tasty gluten free pasta dish which tastes like summer and is ready in 15 minutes, this Gluten Free Penne Puttanesca is the one.

Puttanesca is just such a simple meal with a salty, spicy sauce and I absolutely love it!

Even if you’re not a fan of anchovies or capers it’s worth trying – the flavours are not overpowering but they all meld together into this beautiful sauce.

Usually you find gluten free spaghetti puttanesca but I find gluten free penne a lot easier to cook (anyone else find the gluten free spaghetti just clumps together!?).

Serve this Penne Alla Puttanesca up with some gluten free garlic bread, a crusty gluten free baguette or a fresh and zingy Greek salad.

Close up shot of gluten free penne puttanesca.Close up shot of gluten free penne puttanesca.

Ingredients

There’s a printable recipe card below with the quantities and method, but here are the main ingredients for my gluten free Penne Puttanesca.

It’s also where I make any suggestions for substitutes if you want to change anything!

  • Gluten Free Penne Pasta – Any gluten free pasta will work but penne is my preferred choice. I love how the tubes soak up the sauce! I usually use the Asda, Tesco or Sainsbury’s gluten free penne pasta, but the gluten free Napolina and Garofalo pastas are amazing and worth spending the extra money on.
  • Garlic – If using whole garlic, you’ll need 3 cloves peeled and finely chopped. A garlic paste would also work well.
  • Chilli Flakes – Omit if you don’t like spice or just add half the amount for a mild flavour.
  • Finely Chopped Tomatoes – in my opinion nothing beats Mutti Finely Chopped Tomatoes. You use a cheaper tin though. Keep them chunky or chop them up finely before adding to the sauce.
  • Anchovy Fillets – I know these divide opinion but I honestly don’t think the sauce tastes fishy at all. So if you’re not keen, try it before you decide to omit them.
  • Black Olives – Traditionally Puttanesca is made with Kalamata Olives. You can happily use these but I find buying black olives is cheaper and still delicious. Use after leftovers in my Greek Salad or Greek Pasta Salad.
  • Capers – These add a unique flavour to the sauce and are just delicious.

How to make Penne Puttanesca

There’s a printable recipe card below with the method, but here are some step-by-step photos to show you how easy this gluten free pasta puttanesca is to make.

To make this easy gluten free penne puttanesca recipe:

Fry the onions and garlic then add the tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers and chilli.Fry the onions and garlic then add the tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers and chilli.

Boil a pan of salted water and once boiling, cook the pasta as per the pack instructions. Make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

Pour the olive oil into a large pan and place on a medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until soft.

Adding the gluten free pasta to the puttanesca sauce.Adding the gluten free pasta to the puttanesca sauce.

Add the tinned tomatoes, chilli flakes, chopped anchovy fillets, olives, capers and tomato puree and mix well.

Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook until the pasta is done.

Strain the pasta and then add to the puttanesca sauce, stirring well to coat it. Serve with a sprinkling or chopped parsley and a generous helping of Parmesan cheese!

A pan of pasta puttanesca.A pan of pasta puttanesca.

If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. You can also share your creations in my Facebook group! And please do leave a 5* review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me and really helps support my website.

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  • Boil a pan of salted water and once boiling, cook the pasta as per the pack instructions. Make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

  • Add the olive oil to a large pan and place on a medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until soft.

  • Add the tinned tomatoes, chilli flakes, chopped anchovy fillets, olives, capers and tomato puree and mix well. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook until the pasta is done.

  • Strain the pasta and then add to the sauce, stirring well to coat it. Serve with a sprinkling or chopped parsley and a generous helping of Parmesan cheese!

For step-by-step photos and serving suggestions, check out the blog post above.
For commonly asked questions, including storage instructions and how to make this recipe dairy free, check out the FAQ section below this recipe card.

Serving: 1g | Calories: 594kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 981mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 13g

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about this Penne Alla Puttanesca recipe – if you can’t find the answer to your question here or in the post above, please comment and I’ll try answer!

How to store/freeze penne puttanesca

If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, I recommend cooking the sauce and either refrigerating or freezing. I’d recommend cooking the pasta fresh each time as gluten free pasta does not reheat well.

Is this Gluten Free Penne Puttanesca dairy free/vegan?

Because this sauce uses anchovies it is not vegan. You can omit them and the sauce will still be delicious – but it won’t be the same!
Puttanesca is dairy free but just ensure you use a vegan hard cheese to serve if you want to add this on top.

What is the best way to cook gluten free pasta?

I just wanted to also share a few quick tips on cooking gluten free pasta as it behaves differently to ‘normal’ pasta.
Always make sure the water is boiling before adding the pasta, then once added try to bring the water back to the boil as quickly as possible. Make sure while you bring it back to the boil, you keep stirring the pasta so it doesn’t form a giant clump.
And most importantly – drain the pasta as soon as it is cooked!
If you overcook it or just leave it in the water it can often turn to sludge and there’s often no way back from that. If your pasta is ready before the sauce, you can drain it then toss it in a little extra virgin olive oil to ensure it doesn’t stick together in the colander.

What does Penne Puttanesca mean in English?

Did you know that the Italian word for ‘whore’ is ‘puttana’? Meaning this roughly translates as ‘pasta in the style of a whore’?
Don’t let that – or the fact that ‘putida’ means ‘stinking’ in Latin – put you off though! Much like my Gluten Free Slutty Brownies, the filthier the name, the yummier the food.
One theory is it was made for men visiting brothels in the mid-20th Century.
Another theory is that it was once named ‘pelle alla marinara’, thrown together by a chef who had only a few ingredients in the kitchen.
Whether it was invented in a brothel or not, it’s absolutely delicious! And ‘penne’ is the type of pasta, which are like little tubes.

delicious gluten free meals a cookbook by sarah howellsdelicious gluten free meals a cookbook by sarah howells

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