Puttanesca sauce originated in southern Italy sometime in the 1950s or 1960s. Traditional versions of it include tomatoes, anchovies, olives, caper, garlic and olive oil. The sauce is typically served with spaghetti, though linguine or vermicelli are not uncommon, either.
This version is from the Ball All New book. Ball omits the olive oil, presumably to keep it safer for home canning. They add bell pepper, which one Sicilian variant does use. But, they also add roasted eggplant which, though non-traditional in any version, is a delicious addition.
Owing to the chunkiness imparted to the sauce by the eggplant, you might want to try this with penne or buccatini pasta (which are also traditional with puttanesca.)
And yes, the word “puttanesca” is of scandalous origin in Italian.
NOTE: Ball has issued a correction to the recipe. The version in the 2016 print version does not call for the vinegar. Now, they do want you to add the vinegar — it is not optional.
This does give the recipe a slightly vinegary taste.
See all pasta-sauce recipes for canning.
Jar size choices: Half-litre (US pint / 500 ml / 16 oz)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Yield: 6 x half-litre (US pint / 500 ml / 16 oz) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (½ inch)
Processing time: 45 minutes
Eggplant Pasta Sauce alla Puttanesca
An eggplant and tomato pasta sauce from Ball Home Canning
- 200 g kalamata olives (1 ½ cups / 7 oz after prep)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 kg Roma tomatoes (6 lbs before prep)
- 3 red peppers (500 g / just over 1 lb before prep.)
- 3 onions (large. 500 g / 1 lb )
- 1 kg eggplant (2 lbs)
- 500 ml red wine (dry. 2 cups / 16 oz)
- 125 ml balsamic vinegar (½ cup / 4 oz)
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste ( or chopped anchovy strips. Optional)
- 2 teaspoons salt (OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub)
- 2 teaspoons oregano dried
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 75 g capers (1 jar that is 100 to 125 ml / 3.5 oz, as purchased, then drained)
Get two large, rimmed baking sheets and line them with tin foil. Don't grease or spray. Set aside.
Pit and chop the olives. Set aside.
Peel and mince the garlic, add to olives, set aside.
Start oven heating to 220 C (400 F).
Wash tomatoes, core, cut in half and place cut side down on prepared baking sheet.
Put tomatoes in oven on one rack and start them roasting.
Spray the second lined baking sheet with cooking spray.
Wash and stem the peppers. Cut each in half and seed them. Place the halves skin side up on the second baking sheet.
Leave onion peeled, cut in fours, add to second baking sheet peel sides up.
Wash and stem the eggplant. Cut into cubes that are about 3 cm (1 inch) square. Add to second baking sheet.
Put in oven on a second rack.
Let the tomato sheet bake for about 45 minutes in total, till the tomato skins are just starting to char.
Let the eggplant and pepper sheet bake for about 30 minutes in total, or until the eggplant cubes are turning golden and the pepper is tender.
When tomatoes are done, remove from oven and let cool on the pan. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them. Discard the peel. Coarsely chop the tomato, seeds and all.
Put tomato in a pot that is at least 6 litres (quarts) in size.
When eggplant and peppers are done, remove from oven.
Add the eggplant to the pot with the tomato.
Remove and discard the onion peel, coarsely chop the onion, add to pot.
Peel the peppers as much as possible. Coarsely chop, add to pot.
Add all remaining ingredients to the pot including the olives and garlic prepared at the start.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Let simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
Ladle sauce into heated jars.
Leave 2 cm (½ inch) headspace.
Debubble, adjust headspace.
Wipe jar rims.
Put lids on.
Process in a water bath or steam canner.
Process jars for 45 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
For salt substitute, Herbamare Sodium-Free was used as it is non-bitter and non-clouding.
- 3 bell peppers will be about 500 g / just over 1 lb before prep, about 450 g / 1 lb after prep.
- 200 g of the chopped, pitted olives is a 375 ml jar of sliced, pitted ones, after draining
- You may omit the eggplant if you wish, or the capers, the anchovy or the olives. But don’t swap in anything else in their place. Do not reduce the amount of red wine or balsamic vinegar; they are a safety factor.
- If you used field tomatoes instead of paste-type tomatoes, the sauce could get watery. You’d want to simmer for longer than the 15 minutes when it’s all assembled, until you think it’s thick enough for sauce.
- If tomatoes are out of season and / or too dear, you can use instead either 3 litres (quarts) of crushed tomato from a tin or home canned, OR 1.5 litres / quarts of tomato passata (2 x 700 ml jars). Boil the canned tomato down by about one-half OR open the passata, and introduce either at step 15 above, having roasted the other veg but having skipped roasting tomato, obviously.
- Normally, we’d expect something like this to be pressure canned. The reason it’s safe for water-bathing is the vinegar in the recipe, which keeps the overall pH low.
Special safety notes
NOTE: October 2016. Ball made adjustments in the online version of this recipe, adding balsamic vinegar (125 ml / 4 oz) and increasing the processing time (from 35 to 45 minutes). The printed version in the book omits the vinegar, and uses a processing time of 35 minutes. We asked Ball through Facebook about this, and got this reply:
Thanks for reaching out to us! Double checked this for you and both recipes are safe when followed. Extra time was added for insurance but you can use either one – it’s up to you. Ball to Randal Oulton. Facebook. 19 October 2016
Since then, sometime around 2018, on the web version of this the “optional” was dropped on the vinegar, making it mandatory. You would probably want to use a very good quality balsamic, to lessen the vinegary taste as cheaper imitation “balsamic” vinegars can be just regular vinegars, coloured.
- Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Puttanesca Sauce. In: Butcher, Meredith L., Ed. The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. New York: Oxmoor House. 2016. Page 181.
- Added suggestions for starting with crushed tomato or tomato passata
We first made this using the original recipe as printed in the 2016 book.
We measured the pH of this 24 hours after canning in October 2016, with none of the “optional” vinegar added; it showed 4.2 on an equilibrium of solids and liquid combined.
The red wine used was just a bottle of standard table plonk, “Fantini Farnese Montepulciano D’Abruzzo.” It had a tested pH of 3.52 (Measured October 2016.)
The pH drifted upward.
We made it again a second time adding the newly-called for vinegar. The pH came down to under 4, but we didn’t like the vinegary taste and discarded it. That being said, of course your taste buds may not mind it – taste is a very personal thing. Why could Ball not have developed this with citric acid or lemon juice instead of vinegar?
Per 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz)
- 157 calories, 816 mg sodium
Per 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz)
- 157 calories, 428 mg sodium
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com