Summer No-cook Puttanesca Sauce


It was 93 today here in Vermont.
93 degrees Farenheit, of course.
That’s hot.

To celebrate, (I’m a glass half-full kind of person) I made my handy no-cook puttanesca sauce and we ate outside in the shade.


I like the recipe because I make it with my hands. Ever since my years in Kazakhstan, actually even before, I eat with my fingers whenever I can:

Corn on the cob, fried chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers, pizza, and edamame (in the shell, in fact most anything in the shell is best eaten with the fingers: shrimp, oysters, clams, and all the rest) taste better with fingers.  But I digress.

Need I add here, you don’t EAT this puttanesca sauce with your fingers (well, I guess you can if you want) you just make it with your fingers? And even that is optional.

So, with your hands:

  • squish out the pits from mediterranean olives (I used almost a full jar, though a small one)
  • tear up fresh basil leaves (my seven or eight small leaves were not enough IMO)
  • mash ripe tomatoes (I skinned six plum tomates first)
  • mush anchovies into a paste (one tiny jar, sans the oil) and
  • pour in olive oil (I used two cups but I’ll use less next time)

Add a few spoonfuls of capers and you’ve got the sauce.  Proportions are to taste, but two cups of olive oil and six plum tomatoes made enough for five to six servings (two if you’re feeling particularly hungry, I imagine).

I let the sauce sit for a few hours,which means you can make it soon after you realize it’s going to be a scorcher of a day, but before it gets ghastly hot. And I served it over pasta.

Yes; the hot pasta is unfortunate. Perhaps another day I’ll boil the pasta in the cooler early morning hours and refrigerate, then just pour boiling water over it and let sit for three minutes to reheat just before we sit down.

I served mine over linguini with grated parmegian on top. On the side we had scallions left over from the local CSA last week and simple lettuce leaves (fresh picked from my garden) for a side salad. That’s what I like on these hot days: simple.  (It’s what I like on cold days too, but again I digress.  So sorry.)

Berries and cream came an hour or so later.

Prep time was less than 15 minutes for the sauce, but that can vary, small muscle coordination being what it is.

Next time I make this, I’ll take pictures. In the meantime, here’s a photo from the Family Feast website


Thanks to for the image
Thanks to for the image

How about you? What’s your favorite meal for a hot summer night?


5 Responses

  1. Rachael Stray
    | Reply

    This looks perfect for the warmer weather!

    Rachael |

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      It was fun making it this past summer with my granddaughter. Wish I’d taken some photos. Thanks for swinging by, Rachael. Did you see the CommentLuv check off? That gives my readers the link to your latest blog. Next time to stop over, be sure to click it.
      Janet Givens recently posted…At Seventy: Seven ThoughtsMy Profile

  2. Tat Jane
    | Reply

    Yes, Janet NO cooking is my team, too! ~ Why cook? when all vitamins are gone, right? ~ I’ve created a whole website on this team, since it made such a SHIFT in my life, so I thought I can awaken others into eating Fresh, raw, vegetables, they give such a strength and power, if you eat in sufficient amount and organic of course! ~ Thank you, for the share! ~ in LOVE and Light, Tat Jane

  3. […] I’m cooking, it’s my summertime no-cook Puttanesca sauce.  Here’s a post from 2013 on that one, with […]

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