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Penne alla Puttanesca with Shrimp

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Anchovies are a traditional component of this classic Italian dish, but they’re optional. Shrimp, on the other hand, may not be authentic, but they’re completely at home in the spicy, briny sauce.

This recipe is easily adaptable to serve seafood-lovers and vegetarians alike: see the variation to serve one vegetarian, or check out the totally meatless version: Vegetarian Penne alla Puttanesca.


  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest (from half a medium orange)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • One 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juice reserved
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed and quartered
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. whole-grain penne pasta
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp (51 to 60 per lb.), shelled and deveined
  • 4  anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 550
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 20
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 215
  • Sodium (mg): 2840
  • Carbohydrates (g): 47
  • Fiber (g): 7
  • Protein (g): 42


  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion, orange zest, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, olives, and capers. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain well.

    Add the shrimp and anchovies (if using) to the sauce in the skillet. Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour the pasta into the skillet and toss with the shrimp sauce. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

A side of Sauteed Broccoli Raab makes a lovely accompaniment.

To serve 1 vegetarian and 3 meat-lovers: Reduce the shrimp to 12 oz. and the anchovies to 3 fillets, finely chopped. After draining the pasta, toss about 1-1/3 cups in a warm serving bowl with 3/4 cup of the sauce. Sprinkle with one-quarter of the cheese and parsley. Add the shrimp and anchovies to the remaining sauce in the skillet and proceed as directed above, dividing the remaining pasta between 3 bowls and sprinkling with the remaining cheese and parsley.


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Reviews (6 reviews)

  • bakergal53 | 11/12/2019

    This was terrific! I used slightly less capers and slightly less olives. I did include the anchovies. The whole grain pasta was a wonderful foil for the sauce, and contributed to the rustic quality of the dish. Can’t wait to serve it again!

  • SydneyG | 12/07/2018

    Loved this recipe! Easy to assemble and SO tasty. The orange zest was a lovely touch. And good as leftovers too!

  • User avater
    sicilianson | 04/29/2012

    Although this sounds interesting I will not be making the dish because of the amount of sodium. 2840mg of sodium/serving is way to much,especially when the recommended amount is either 2500 or 2000 mg/Day depending on your sex and age.

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