Turkey Pasta Puttanesca

Sometimes a recipe just writes itself and I love when that happens.  This came about after making a couple new dishes (which you’ll see soon) and when I had all the leftover ingredients, I combined them together, added a few spices and some pasta and voila – Turkey Puttanesca.  After I created it, I googled the title and I see that there are some dishes with the same name but I can assure you, no one is doing it like this!

Turkey Pasta Puttanesca | Simply Fresh Dinners

This is full of veggies and comfort food flavour and will be perfect for a romantic evening in front of the fire with your loved one.  Remember Lady and The Tramp?  So romantic…but I would suggest using forks!

Ground turkey is a nice alternative to ground beef because of it’s lower fat content.  I buy mine from Nicholyn Farms where I can get ground turkey breast that has literally no fat.  I’m always so pleasantly surprised when I cook it up because it’s a beautiful white colour and there is no need to drain the fat because guess what – there isn’t any – none!  Fabulous!

If you haven’t had puttanesca before it is a tangy, somewhat salty dish invented in the mid 20th century.  It has a salty flavour because of the addition of garlic, olives, capers and sometimes anchovies.  I’m a huge lover of traditional Italian tomato sauce but sometimes it’s nice to have a twist on it and this fits the bill perfectly.  I’ve added some veggies which may well have the puttanesca purists yelling at me but hey, experimentation is a good thing!  Besides, that’s how all the leftovers came together.  It really doesn’t matter as long as it tastes great, right?


I found some delish gluten-free pasta or you can use rice or whole wheat.  Any type of noodle would be good with this sauce except thick tubular ones.  They don’t absorb the sauce well.

I’m growing fresh herbs on my window sill this winter and I just love being able to snip fresh basil from the plant for meals like this.

I think this will be the last of the pasta dishes for awhile.  I’m thinking of dishes for Easter now and even if there is snow on the ground,  I’m determined that my table will look like Spring!  I hope you’ll try this – the flavours came together beautifully!  Cheers!

PIN IT!Turkey Pasta Puttanesca | Simply Fresh Dinners


Turkey Pasta Puttanesca
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb. whole wheat or gluten-free pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • ¼ cup spinach, chopped
  • ½ zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 cup of Spanish or Greek olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, pureed
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
  2. Heat olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until pink is gone. Add garlic, carrots, bell pepper, onions, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Add oregano, spinach, zucchini, olives, capers, anchovy paste, and tomatoes. Stir well and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Add drained pasta to skillet and mix well, letting pasta absorb puttanesca.
  5. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley.

puttanesca 162


  • Reply
    mila furman
    February 25, 2015 at 10:00 am

    This looks so yummy! I am a sucker for pastas 🙂 And I love how you captured the fireplace in the background 🙂
    mila furman recently posted…Omaha Steaks Seared Tenderloin with Peppercorn Cognac SauceMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Thanks so much, Mila! I’m crazy for pastas, too. I have to try to make them as healthy as possible so I don’t feel guilty, lol.
      Robyn recently posted…Turkey Pasta PuttanescaMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 10:02 am

    My kind of dish Robyn. yes, lady and the Tramp is really fun and there is also a commercial with a couple sharing spagetti. I use Turkey all the time. Lovely dish to share on a wintry night. Lots of love from W.W. xo
    Linda recently posted…Add A Pretty Site Map to BloggerMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks so much, Linda. I haven’t seen the commercial – I bet it’s cute! Had so much fun talking with you the other night. We had so much to catch up on! Lots of love to you, Wonder Woman.
      Robyn recently posted…Turkey Pasta PuttanescaMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Oh Robyn, I could go for a bowl of your pasta right now…. I know, it’s only 8:30 in the morning. Your photos are beautiful, my friend!

    Thanks for being so incredible. Hugs to you!
    Stephanie recently posted…Roses of Inspiration Linkup #8My Profile

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      LOL, I could eat pasta for breakfast every day, Stephanie! Thanks so much for your kind words and visits! I’m off to join your party! Sent the card yesterday 🙂
      Robyn recently posted…Turkey Pasta PuttanescaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    February 25, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    That sure looks great my friend. I am typing from school and have little time, but your recipe sure comes as a pleasant break. MUCH LOVE! Anita

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks so much Anita. I know you’re still freezing like we are. Where is Spring?!!
      Robyn recently posted…Turkey Pasta PuttanescaMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I have always loved Lady and the Tramp and just know I will love this recipe as well. Off to pin it to my pasta board!
    Mindy recently posted…Giving Thanks FridayMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 25, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      I love that cute little movie too, Mindy. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Mmmm, pasta. This looks delicious, Robyn!
    Traci recently posted…Take the Adventure PathMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 26, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks so much, Traci. I’m going to feature you again in Tidbits next week. Everyone should wake up to your wonderful messages each day 🙂
      Robyn recently posted…Turkey Pasta PuttanescaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Maggie | Omnivore's Cookbook
    February 25, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I love the experience of creating something wonderful from leftover ingredients! Isn’t it great?
    I like to use lean ground meat to create comforting and delicious dishes. They contains less fat and calories, so I can eat them without any guilt for dinner. I can finish a big bowl of this puttanesca in a minute! Pinning 🙂
    Maggie | Omnivore’s Cookbook recently posted…Buddha’s Delight (Jai, Chinese Vegetarian Stew)My Profile

    • Reply
      February 26, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      LOL, Maggie, I have a feeling you and I are both hearty eaters. This is my kind of meal, too. Especially in this cold weather. Thanks for visiting!
      Robyn recently posted…Turkey Pasta PuttanescaMy Profile

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    February 26, 2015 at 12:24 am

    I could squirt anchovy paste into my mouth and chase it with olives! 😉
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Protein-Packed Crunchy Love BitesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    February 26, 2015 at 1:45 am

    One of my favourite Disney movies is “Lady and the Tramp”! I love how quick this sauce comes together and makes more time for enjoying a glass of wine in front of the fireplace. There are not so many fireplaces here in Hong Kong.. so maybe we can enjoy off the balcony.. Sharing of course that first photo is just amazing!
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted…Gluten-Free Coconut Curry Laksa- Guest PostMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks so much, Bobbi! There was a lot of time on my knees required for that shot, lol, – it was an awkward one!
    Your balcony has such a spectacular view! How romantic to eat there 🙂 Thanks for your visit and sharing!
    Robyn recently posted…Turkey Pasta PuttanescaMy Profile

  • Reply
    March 1, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Hi Robyn,
    I agree with and I am thinking about spring even though it is snowing out today again and I am putting out my silk daffodils and Easter decorations within the next week or so. Tried of winter. This recipe for the pasta with all the vegetables and herbs looks wonderful and using fresh oregano makes it extra special. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays, Pinned & twitted. Think spring and sunshine!
    Marla recently posted…Real Food Fridays #77 – Recipe For HealthMy Profile

  • Reply
    March 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Good idea on the Easter decorations, Marla. I bought some tulips at the market today and they really help. Thanks so much for your visit and the shares!
    Robyn recently posted…Turkey Pasta PuttanescaMy Profile

  • Reply
    March 2, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Oh my I want to jump right into that top photo! Love this pasta, I’m always struggling for quick easy dinners, and this sounds perfect. I’ll check out Nicholyn Farms, thanks for the tip 🙂
    sue|theviewfromgreatisland recently posted…Vermont Rug Farm Giveaway!My Profile

    • Reply
      March 3, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Hi Sue,
      A photo compliment from you makes my day – thank you! All I want is quick and easy because that’s all I have time for, lol.
      Nicholyn is a local farm, sorry, should have mentioned that. The trip is worth it though, lol.
      Have a great day!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Hey there, sweet friend of mine! I’m so glad you shared this recipe at Roses of Inspiration – thank you, dear Robyn!

    Have a lovely week. Hugs!
    Stephanie recently posted…Roses Of Inspiration Linkup #9My Profile

  • Reply
    March 8, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Hi Robyn! I love this and I like all of the veggies in it. What a great idea to put in olives and capers, I love capers! And the anchovy paste sounds great. I’ve only used it to make ceasar salad dressing, but it makes perfect sense to use with pasta sauce. Thank you for sharing it, you’re a genius.

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge