Paleo “Pasta” Puttanesca

by Fresh Planet Flavor
My Paleo "Pasta" Puttanesca (parsnip noodles) recipe is a combination of strong flavors: anchovies, capers, garlic, Greek olives, chili flakes, peppery parsnips. | Fresh Planet Flavor

My Paleo "Pasta" Puttanesca (parsnip noodles) recipe is a combination of strong flavors: anchovies, capers, garlic, Greek olives, chili flakes, peppery parsnips. | Fresh Planet FlavorThis Paleo “Pasta” Puttanesca (the spaghetti is actually spiralized parsnips) is very similar to my recent Paleo Chicken Scallopini recipe, and I created them so close together because they share many of the same ingredients. Buy one bunch of parsley and one jar of capers, try both recipes!

My Paleo “Pasta” Puttanesca recipe is a combination of strong flavors: anchovies, capers, garlic, Greek olives, chili flakes, peppery parsnips. On the topic of the parsnips… Unlike zucchini noodles, even after they’re softened in a skillet the parsnips retain a subtle crunch. If you’ve never spiralized parsnips before, give it a shot. They mimic the look of regular ol’ noodles really well! There’s just something irreplaceably appealing about a skillet full of spaghetti and sauce. A Paleo version with a spicy, briny sauce and a great back story, however, is even better. According to the story, prostitutes used to make a hot, aromatic puttanesca dish to entice customers back in the day–it was fast, easy and cheap (um, still talking about the sauce). Another version of the tale says that it was not the favorite of ladies of the night, but simply women who wanted to keep their meal preparation brief so their evenings could be spent more enjoyably. Understandable.

Whichever version you hold as true, this Paleo “Pasta” Puttanesca is well-suited for a homemade meal: it’s fresh and flavorful, the sauce can be made largely from ingredients already in the pantry and it doesn’t take very long to cobble together. Enjoy!

Paleo Pasta Puttanesca with parsnip spaghetti (Paleo, Grain/Dairy-Free) |

Paleo “Pasta” Puttanesca
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Grok Grub
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This paleo [i]”pasta” puttanesca[/i] is a grain-free recreation of an Italian classic.
  • 4 medium parsnips
  • 1 tbsp [url href=”” title=”coconut oil”]coconut oil[/url]
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • ⅓ cup chopped olives
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley
  • Black pepper
  1. Melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a large [url href=”” title=”Cast-Iron Skillet”]skillet[/url]. Cook the spiralized parsnips over medium heat until softened, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate, set aside.
  2. Dice or finely shred the onion and garlic, add to the skillet and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
  3. Chop the capers and anchovies, stir into the onions and garlic along with the olives. Add the chopped tomatoes, chili flakes and salt, stir.
  4. Stir in the cooked parsnips, adjust with additional salt to taste.
  5. Top with fresh parsley, sprinkle with black pepper, and serve hot.

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Stacey May 27, 2014 - 2:05 am

This looks absolutely delicious! Would have never thought of putting parsnips in the spiral slicer. Great idea 🙂

Fresh Planet Flavor May 27, 2014 - 4:42 am

I saw a parsnip noodle salad by Meatified, and yep it works great!

Sam May 27, 2014 - 1:07 pm

Wow, spiralized parsnips?! I thought those were rice noodles or something, couldn’t figure it out! SO cool! I will have to try that.

Grok Grub May 28, 2014 - 4:07 am

Oh, WAY better than rice noodles. 😉

Adrienne @ Whole New Mom May 28, 2014 - 12:19 am

This is GORGEOUS! Pinned. I can’t wait to try this!!!

Grok Grub May 28, 2014 - 4:08 am

Thanks! It’s so delicious, I ate some out of the pan right after I photographed it.

Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen May 28, 2014 - 9:41 am

Gorgeous dish! I love the bold flavors of puttanesca sauce.

Beth @ Tasty Yummies May 28, 2014 - 4:24 pm

Love this!! So crazy, I made something super similar recently and I am now obsessed. Parsnip noodles are my new favorite.

Grok Grub May 29, 2014 - 12:59 am

So cool! Did you post what you made? Would love to see…

Susanne Runion May 28, 2014 - 11:22 pm

This looks amazing. What a great combination flavors. I really need to get a spiralizer. I love that what you said about the parsnip noodles retaining a crunch. They look so much healthier than rice noodles. I will definitely try this soon.

Grok Grub May 29, 2014 - 12:58 am

Yes, you DO need to get a spiralizer! I use it every week. 🙂

Tina T. May 29, 2014 - 12:46 am

What a great idea! I love it! Thanks for sharing!

Paleo 'Pasta' Puttanesca May 29, 2014 - 3:16 pm

[…] Paleo ‘Pasta’ Puttanesca […]

Arsy Vartanian May 30, 2014 - 8:14 pm

This looks incredible! I love all the delicious flavors going on here!

Mary Turecke June 10, 2014 - 8:20 pm

This recipe rocked! I made it for my dad and husband and also added the Kalamata olives…perfection. Thanks so much

Grok Grub June 10, 2014 - 11:56 pm

Wow, good to hear! Kalamata olives have such flavor, they’re the best. 🙂

Alex July 16, 2014 - 6:42 pm

Hi Rachel!

My name is Alex Orlov, and I’m a writer at DailyBurn Life. We’re a health and fitness website and we’d love to share your amazing Paleo Puttanesca in an upcoming article on low-carb noodle recipes. If you can email me at so we can discuss this further, that would be great!

Look forward to hearing from you!


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Judith April 6, 2015 - 6:02 pm

So what happened to the olives? I love removing the pasta but it ain’t Puttanesca without the olives to me.

Grok Grub April 6, 2015 - 9:24 pm

I forgot to put them in the recipe, that has now been corrected. Thanks!

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Michelle February 2, 2018 - 4:06 am

I did try this recipe but NO WAY would I ever put an entire teaspoon of red pepper flake in there! It would be so hot and just overpower the dish. I did about 5 shakes and used a 15oz. can diced tomatoes – it was still very spicy although seemed right. So word of caution to start smaller with the red pepper flake to be safe. Also great over zucchini “noodles” too which is what I did but I will definitely try with parsnips!

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