ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Spaghetti and Meatballs Puttanesca

Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 12 mins
Yield Makes 4 servings
"This basic kids' recipe uses meatballs, a simple jarred marinara, and pasta, and I find that a little boring. Adding a few robust ingredients like capers, anchovy paste, and crushed red pepper to my portion makes me feel like I'm eating from the adult menu."--Lynda M., Aurora, IL


  • 8 ounces spaghetti, uncooked
  • 32 Italian-style frozen, precooked meatballs, divided
  • 1 (26-oz.) jar fire-roasted tomato garlic pasta sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 lemon wedge, seeded
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 725
  • caloriesfromfat 46 %
  • fat 36.9 g
  • satfat 12.6 g
  • monofat 2.1 g
  • polyfat 0.9 g
  • protein 34.5 g
  • carbohydrate 69 g
  • fiber 12.1 g
  • cholesterol 73 mg
  • iron 6 mg
  • sodium 2549 mg
  • calcium 212 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, combine half the meatballs, two-thirds of the pasta sauce, and next 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Squeeze juice from lemon wedge into sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Combine remaining meatballs and pasta sauce in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; fold back a small edge to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until hot.

  4. To serve, divide spaghetti evenly among 4 serving plates. For plain servings, spoon microwaved sauce over 2 portions. For grown-up servings, spoon seasoned sauce over remaining 2 portions. Sprinkle all 4 portions with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

  5. Shopping Note: Anchovy paste is typically located near canned tuna and anchovies. After opening, store it in the refrigerator up to 6 months.

  6. MENU IDEA FOR 4 * Spaghetti and Meatballs Puttanesca * Caesar salad

  7. GROCERIES NEEDED Check staples: bottled minced garlic, dried crushed red pepper, dried basil, shredded Parmesan cheese * 1 (8-oz.) package spaghetti * 32 Italian-style frozen, precooked meatballs * 1 (26-oz.) jar fire-roasted tomato garlic pasta sauce (we tested with Classico) * 1 small jar kalamata olives * 1 small jar capers * 1 tube anchovy paste * 1 lemon * 1 (15-oz.) package complete Caesar salad kit

  8. NOTE: Nutritional analysis is for grown-up entrée servings. For plain servings, nutritional analysis is as follows: CALORIES 616 (48% from fat); FAT 6g (sat 1g, mono 1g, poly 4g); PROTEIN 30g; CARB 3g; FIBER 7g; CHOL 67mg; IRON 6mg; SODIUM 1620mg; CALC 124mg

Southern Living: Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites