Spicy Cod Puttanesca Pasta

Last Updated on September 17, 2023

This spin on the Naples, Italy pasta puttanesca starts off with a traditional garlicky tomato sauce that simmers to the tune of salty anchovies, briny capers and flavorful olives with a bit of heat from crushed red chili flakes. To take advantage of summer’s fresh tomatoes, this version kicks the usual canned tomatoes aside. Flakes of ButcherBox’s cod simmer in it all, getting all sweet and spicy itself. If you’re wondering how much work you are going to have to do to achieve all this flavor, well, the preparation is really straightforward and only involves a bit of chopping. For little trouble, you get a pasta meal with a big impact on the taste buds. Look for ripe, juicy tomatoes to create a generous bright sauce here. If all you have on hand are cherry tomatoes, they can work, but you may need to add some extra pasta water to create a saucier sauce.

Do you not have cod on deck? ButcherBox’s wild-caught sockeye salmon or wild-caught shrimp work swimmingly here too.

Spicy Cod Puttanesca Pasta

4.80 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • Salt
  • 8 oz ButcherBox Cod Filets defrosted, drained and patted very dry
  • 4 tbsp olive oil plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 6 cups chopped mix of tomatoes such as heirlooms and cherry
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¾ cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 2 tbsp chopped capers
  • 5 anchovies in olive oil drained and chopped
  • tsp red chili flakes
  • Fresh basil leaves for serving


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, season with salt and cook pasta until al dente or according to the package directions. Save ½ cup pasta water and drain pasta. Meanwhile, cut the cod into 1-inch chunks and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high. Once hot, add the garlic and when it’s sizzling and very fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes, stirring often, until they become very juicy and sauce-like, about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium-low and stir in the tomato paste, wine, olives, capers, anchovies and chili flakes.
  • Stir the cod chunks into the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Then stir in the pasta to coat each piece. If the sauce seems a little dry, stir in splashes of the reserved pasta water.
  • When ready to serve, coarsely chop the basil leaves and quickly stir into the sauce. Turn off heat. Transfer pasta entrée to plates and drizzle some olive oil over the top.
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