Puttanesca Style Pasta Salad

Pasta salads can be a bit boring but try our new fiery and flavourful version and we're sure you'll be converted. Puttanesca, one of the classic Italian sauces, is a great favourite of ours and here we're using some of the same ingredients, such as chilli flakes, capers and olives, to make a really exciting salad.

A blue and white ceramic bowl brimming with a Puttanesca Pasta Salad—pasta, arugula, cherry tomatoes, black olives, all crowned with shaved cheese. Inspired by Hairy Bikers' Fast & Fresh recipes, a small plate with extra cheese shards and silverware sits beside it.

Puttanesca-Style Pasta Salad -- photography by Andrew Hayes-Watson


Prep time
10 minutes
Cooking time
about 15 minutes
344 per serving


  • 250g short pasta, such as penne or fusilli
  • 125g wild rocket, roughly chopped
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 50g pitted olives, sliced (green or black)
  • 50g capers, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • leaves from 2 basil sprigs, roughly torn
  • 255g Parmesan, shaved
  • salt and black pepper


  • 30g can of anchovies and their oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • leaves from a thyme sprig or 1/2 tsp dried thyme


  1. First, make the dressing. Put the anchovies in a small saucepan with the olive oil. Heat gently, breaking up the anchovies with the back of a spoon until they start to dissolve into the oil. Add the lemon zest and juice, followed by the garlic and thyme. Season with black pepper. Cook very gently - don't let the garlic take on any colour - then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

  2. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water. When it's al dente, drain, tip into a bowl and immediately pour the dressing over it. Toss to combine and leave the pasta to cool until it's just about at room temperature.

  3. Add the rocket, tomatoes, olives, capers and chilli flakes. Mix thoroughly, then lightly toss with the basil leaves. Serve with shavings of Parmesan.