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Easy Low-Carb Pasta Puttanesca

4.5 stars, average of 15 ratings

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I love the story behind this pasta dish, in that it was a quick, thrown-together dish for the working women in Italy. What was originally something of a cheap dish for the working class has since grown to become one of the countries favorite pasta dishes, and with good reason — not only is it quick to make and cheap, it's also packed full of flavour!

The low-carb recipe below will yield you four serves, but I like to double or triple it as the sauce freezes really well and makes a great mid-week dinner. All you need is some zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles, both of which can be prepared in less than 5 minutes!

For extra protein you can even add some diced chicken breasts, chicken thighs or turkey. The options are endless!

Hands-on Overall

Allergy information for Easy Low-Carb Pasta Puttanesca

✔  Gluten free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving)

Net carbs7.1 grams
Protein7.8 grams
Fat27.6 grams
Calories318 kcal
Calories from carbs 9%, protein 10%, fat 81%
Total carbs13.2 gramsFiber6.1 gramsSugars9 gramsSaturated fat8.6 gramsSodium780 mg(34% RDA)Magnesium57 mg(14% RDA)Potassium819 mg(41% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 2 tbsp ghee or extra virgin avocado oil (30 ml)
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped (16 g/ 0.6 oz)
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (800 g/ 1.76 lb)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 16 pitted kalamata olives, halved (48 g/ 1.7 oz)
  • 2 tbsp baby capers, drained (17 g/ 0.6 oz)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil, plus more for garnish
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to drizzle (60 ml)
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan or other Italian-style hard cheese (30 g/ 1.1 oz)
  • 3 medium or 4 small zucchini, spiralized (600 g/ 1.3 lb)


  1. Add the olive oil to a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and cook, stirring, until fragrant (around 1 minute).
    Easy Low-Carb Pasta Puttanesca
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, chili flakes, olives and capers and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has started to reduce.
    Easy Low-Carb Pasta Puttanesca
  4. Add basil, taste and season with more salt or extra chilli if preferred.
  5. Serve with zucchini noodles (spiralized zucchini) or other low-carb noodles such as shirataki noodles. You can use raw zucchini noodles or briefly cook them on a lightly greased pan for 1 to 3 minutes. Easy Low-Carb Pasta Puttanesca
  6. Drizzle with olive oil, top with parmesan and optionally serve with more basil. Store the sauce in a container in the fridge up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    Easy Low-Carb Pasta Puttanesca

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
0 g0 g7.5 g68 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Anchovies (canned anchovy fillets in oil)
0 g1.2 g0.4 g8 kcal
Tomatoes, canned (unsweetened)
3.1 g1.6 g0.5 g32 kcal
Peppers, chile (chili), flaked and dried, spices
0.2 g0.1 g0.1 g2 kcal
Kalamata olives
0 g0.2 g3.1 g31 kcal
Capers, canned
0.1 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Basil, fresh
0 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g13.5 g119 kcal
Parmesan cheese
0.2 g2.7 g1.9 g29 kcal
Zucchini (summer squash, courgette)
3.2 g1.8 g0.5 g26 kcal
Total per serving
7.1 g7.8 g27.6 g318 kcal

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Dearna Bond
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Dearna Bond

Dearna is a passionate foodie and food photographer, and loves sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for both via her food blog and online photography courses.

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Comments (2)

It was excellent!  And I was very happy I didn’t have to chop an onion. It was easy prep. My husband loved it also. I didn’t tell him about the anchovies. He rated it a 10

That's great, I'm glad he enjoyed too 😊 Thank you for your lovely feedback!