Puttanesca Pasta Night with Recipe from CRMR Kitchen

Savour Pasta Night with Our Chef-Inspired Puttanesca Recipe

Pasta is a quick and easy dish for those cherished ‘end of summer’ nights. Those evenings when you desperately want to enjoy every last moment you can spend sitting with family and friends on your deck, before the cooler fall evenings come along.

Pasta Puttanesca is a delicious way to enjoy pasta on just such an occasion, as it is the ideal level of salty due to the olives, capers and anchovies in the sauce, and extremely fragrant, thanks to the garlic and onion. All in all, a filling and satisfying pasta, paired perfectly with a luscious bottle of wine, and great conversation with friends or family.

Make pasta night a breeze by using CRMR Kitchen’s Puttanesca Sauce, which is ready to heat and serve. The sauce is proudly local: tomatoes come from local, Alberta-based produce suppliers Galimax and Redhat, and the herbs in the sauce are sourced from Basil Ranch, a local supplier of herbs. Add your favourite protein and pasta, and you have a quick, effortless meal everyone at the table will appreciate.

To help you feel like a pro in the kitchen, we asked one of CRMR’s chefs, Ken Canavan, for some tips on how to make the most of the CRMR Puttanesca sauce. Here are some chef’s tips to take your puttanesca pasta to the next level:

  • Add ground bison or elk to the sauce-these lean proteins are a great way to make the pasta healthy and filling-both are available at any one of the three Urban Butcher locations (see below recipe)
  • Penne or fettucine would be ideal pasta choices, as the sauce will stick to these types of noodles best-we recommend Bella Italia Pasta, Bio Penne di Farro, or Pasta Artigianale, all available at Urban Butcher. Gluten free options, such as Pastificio La Rosa, are also available.
  • Add CRMR Kitchen pickled red fresno chilis to the sauce, for an added kick and interesting flavour dimensions.
  • Top with freshly grated parmesan, as the creaminess of the cheese will meld nicely with the salty and fragrant sauce

Here’s what you will need to prepare CRMR Kitchen Pasta Puttanesca:



  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Set onion and garlic aside.
  2. In the same skillet, brown the ground elk or bison, stirring frequently to break up any large chunks of meat. Cook until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Drain any excess grease, if needed. (Bison and elk are very lean, so this step may not be required.)
  3. While meat is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  4. Add sautéed onion and garlic back to meat in pan. Add jar of CRMR Kitchen Puttanesca Sauce to pan and cook over medium heat until sauce is gently simmering and heated through.
  5. Serve cooked pasta with heated sauce. Top individual plates of pasta with pickled red fresno chilis and parmesan cheese, as desired.

Breathe in the fragrant aroma of this pasta…linger as you savour your meal and a glass of wine, enjoying the last fleeting moments of summer. No time wasted in the kitchen means more time to spend with family and this delicious pasta puttanesca.

Wine Pairing Suggestions

Looking for some wine inspiration? Check out CRMR Wine Director Brad Royale’s tips:

Puttanesca is one of the most beautiful and easy (pun intended) dishes to make, yielding an aromatic and umani lathered plate. Light unoaked Sangiovese from Emilia Romagna can be an easy match, but simple Chianti from Tuscany served slightly chilled can be an easy bottle to find among the shelves of Bin 905.  Looking for something not so “available”, perhaps Nerello Mascalese from Etna would suit your fancy.  This grape clings to the side of Europe’s most explosive volcano…totally appropriate here; Pietradolce and Frank Cornelissen make particularly engaging examples…look to Cornelissen if you like kink.  Zweigelt and Blaufrankish are two grapes worth noting here for their inherent pepper quality, look to Austria for these gems.

If white is your bag then Soave can be a hit as the volcanic soils add an inherent salinity to the palate, a perfect match for the salt-laden pasta ribbons about to swirl around your tongue, Suavia and Pieropan are kings here.  If you dig the salt on the lips then grab any medium quality Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece….this will be perfect, and usually complete with heavy value (read: cheap).

An important wine note here for whoever you decide to spend your evening with….serve the reds cool.  Everyone likes their puttanesca “hot”, but the reds need to be cool, possibly even cold.  Why?  Because they taste better.  Puttanesca has enough flavor and salt for days, so what you need in between the salty noshes are the refreshing gulps of cool red that offer bright acidity and finely tuned tannins…this happens when you chill your reds…..in fact, do this for most reds you drink, you’ll find a whole new appreciation for something you really like to do.

Cheers from our kitchen to yours!



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