Gluten Free Shrimp Puttanesca

       Pasta is one of my favorite ingredients for a budget friendly meal.  It is very versatile, filling and affordable.  Even if our family now buys the gluten free version due to wheat allergy, it is still a staple in our pantry. 
       Speaking of food allergies, in spite of the many types of food we need to eliminate from our family’s diet, I am so glad that fish and shell fish are still a go for us.  Can you believe that?  Oh well, the mysteries of the body.
       Anyway, I first made this Shrimp Puttanesca dish when I have noticed that our family just had a crazy month and I haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while.  That meant I haven’t visited a store in 15 days!  With a nearly empty fridge and low stocked pantry, I have to make something that the kids will enjoy and I can cook in just 30 minutes. 
       The end product became a big hit and is now a requested dish every month.  Who can resist something with a sauce that is sweet, salty, sour and over all delectable? Also, don’t be fooled by the fancy name.  It was said that the Puttanesca sauce was first made out of cheap leftovers for hard working people. 
      Eating with food restrictions doesn’t have to be pricey. With just a little creativity, some pasta and sauce, eating healthy especially gluten free can also be wallet friendly.  Do you agree?


2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (Use the good one for better flavor)
1 2 oz. can anchovies (preferable in oil)
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 lbs. cherry tomatoes
3 Tbs. sherry wine (you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock)
1 Tbs. capers (drained from the brine)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. chili flakes (more if you want more heat)
1/4 lbs. uncooked shrimps (deveined and shelled)
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3 Tbs. chopped basil
1/4 cup pasta water (water used to boil the pasta)
1 lb. cooked pasta (I use gluten free of course)

1. Cook your favorite gluten free pasta.  Here’s a tip to avoid it from being soggy. Reserve at least 2 cups of the pasta water for the sauce.
2. In a big pan with a medium heat, sauté the anchovies in oil until it melts or disintegrates.
3. Add the garlic, capers and tomatoes.  Cook until the tomatoes are very soft.
4. Deglaze the pan with the sherry wine.  Let the alcohol evaporate for about 4 minutes.
5. Put the shrimps in the sauce and cook until it starts to turn pink (kids call it orange).  Stir often to make sure it cooks evenly.
6. Add the cooked pasta. 
7. Season with salt, pepper, chili flakes and lemon juice.
8. Mix well so that the sauce coats all the pasta surfaces.  If it looks too dry, slowly pour 1/4 of a cup of the pasta water.  Add more if you prefer. 
9. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the chopped basil on top. 
10. Serve hot.


  1. Actually, puttanesca got its name because it was made by the ladies who worked in houses of ill repute. They would open their windows and allow the pungent aroma of the sauce to draw in the so-called gentlemen.

    1. Thanks for the clarification Laurie. I read somewhere before that the sauce was first made by a small restaurant owner to feed those ladies after they finish "working". It's cheap and very easy to prepare in the wee hours.

      Oh well, I'm just glad it taste good. Want some?

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