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Rich red spaghetti puttanesca on a pale green plate.
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5 from 14 votes

Pressure Cooker Pasta Puttanesca

A dump and go Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker recipe that's ready in minutes. Chilli, anchovies, garlic, capers and tomato all combine to make a rich and delicious pasta dish.
Servings: 2
Prep Time4 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time10 mins


  • 270 ml water
  • 120 g spaghetti.
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ can chopped tomato - 200 g
  • ½ tsp onion or garlic powder.
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olives - sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp heaped capers
  • ½ small can tinned anchovies - 25 g


  • Snap the spaghetti in half and scatter into the pressure cooker pot. Add the water, olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  • Swirl to evenly distribute pasta – make sure none sticks together.
  • Layer the rest of the ingredients on top of the pasta – canned tomatoes, chilli flakes, sliced olives, garlic, tomato puree, rinsed capers and anchovies. You don't need to worry about cutting the anchovies up, as they fall apart once cooked.
  • Check the seal, put the lid on the pot and seal it closed. Check that the weight is set to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to cook for 3 minutes at high pressure.
  • Once cooking has finished, leave the pot on the 'keep warm' setting for a further 3 minutes of natural pressure release (NPR).
  • Release the remaining pressure and open the lid. Don't worry if it looks as if there is too much liquid.
    Give everything a really good stir for about a minute and the extra liquid will be absorbed.  If there is still too much liquid, set the pressure cooker to saute and simmer off any remaining liquid, stirring all the time.

    Season and serve.


Recipe Variations
  • Top with finely grated cheddar or Parmesan.
  • Leave the anchovies out to make it vegan.
  • Add some herbs – basil, oregano and parsley all work well.
  • Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes or sun-dried tomato paste.
Hints and Tips for Dump and Start Pasta Puttanesca
  • Use good quality pasta and tomatoes. You don't need premium tinned tomatoes and puree, but using a quality brand that's better than the supermarkets' economical ranges makes a big difference.
  • Do experiment with different shapes and brands of pasta. You will probably find that you have to make small adjustments to the amount of water that you add.
  • Anchovy fillets keep well in the fridge. Transfer them into a sealable plastic pot.
  • Freeze leftover tomatoes in plastic tubs.
  • Dollop leftover tomato puree into easily managed portions in a silicon ice cube tray, or mini muffin pan, freeze and pack into freezer safe tubs.
  • Jarred olives keep for about a week in the fridge, but then quickly go mouldy, so don't stick them at the back and forget about them. I drain, slice and freeze.
  • Leftovers make for a great grab-and-go lunch to take to work. Simply add a splash of water and reheat in a microwave for two minutes. Make sure it's piping hot before eating.
Nutritional Information
  • This recipe is 9 Weight Watchers points per portion
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.
Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 522mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 10.3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2.7mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pressure cooker pasta puttanesca