Puttanesca Relish

My mother gave me this lovely book simply called Charcuterie, published in 2014. “How to enjoy, serve and cook with cured meats.”

For the blog I’ve already made an eye catching and incredibly tasting salad – chorizo and red cabbage.

This little book is full of surprisingly unique recipes using charcuterie, making charcuterie, or for charcuterie.

Case in point, puttanesca relish caught my attention. Being that pasta puttanesca is my favorite pasta dish, I could easily imagine all of the puttanesca flavors together, served as a relish.

From the book, “This relish is quite like tapenade, but it’s lighter and not as rich. It can be used to add to sandwiches and recipes, but it’s also lovely served with a charcuterie board and spooned onto the meats.”

I couldn’t wait to make it. It’s as easy as making a tapenade, because you can use your food processor.

Puttanesca Relish
Slightly adapted

2 ounces pitted Kalamata olives
2 anchovy fillets, drained
2 teaspoons capers, drained
Big pinch of fresh chopped parsley
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes, seeded, drained
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper flakes

Place the first six ingredients into a food processor and whizz until the pieces are nice and small and the texture is relatively smooth.

Add remaining ingredients. Leave some small chunks, don’t let it become a purée.

Transfer the mixture to a small sterilized jar or an airtight container and cover, if not using immediately.

I served the relish with soft bread, Parmesan, and soprasetta. It is outstanding.

This relish will keep for a week in the refrigerator, and is suitable for freezing.

If you freeze it, make sure to test the relish. It might need a boost in flavor.

I will definitely be making this again and again.

I used a new product for this recipe – capers in olive oil. Excellent.

By Published On: May 13th, 202049 Comments on Puttanesca Relish

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Travel Gourmet May 13, 2020 at 6:22 AM - Reply

    Wow! That sounds fantastic. Puttanesca is one of my favourite pasta dishes too, so I can imagine this has great flavours.

    • chef mimi May 13, 2020 at 7:00 AM - Reply

      Exactly! It’s got all of the wonderful puttanesca elements in it, and works like bruschetta. Amazing.

  2. veganundklücklich May 13, 2020 at 6:35 AM - Reply

    Bitte bitte auch alle deine großartigen Rezepte mit Gramm Angaben einstellen, Ich würde mich riesig darüber freuen!
    Viele Grüße sendet,
    Jesse-Gabriel aus Berlin

    • chef mimi May 13, 2020 at 7:16 AM - Reply

      57g olives, 200g tomatoes! Voila!

  3. This is my husband’s favorite pasta as well, and always his request for a birthday dinner. Thank you, I’ve pinned it and will be making it soon.

    • chef mimi May 16, 2020 at 7:39 AM - Reply

      He should definitely like this as well!

  4. kitchenriffs May 13, 2020 at 9:42 AM - Reply

    What a fun idea! Love pasta puttanesca, and never ever thought of use the sauce flavorings in a relish. I will, though! :-)

    • chef mimi May 16, 2020 at 7:39 AM - Reply

      I know! it’s just brilliant!

  5. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats May 13, 2020 at 12:34 PM - Reply

    Wonderful delicious idea! :)

    • chef mimi May 13, 2020 at 2:24 PM - Reply

      Thanks! It’s really good.

  6. Mary May 13, 2020 at 3:36 PM - Reply

    This is definitely on my list of good things to make. I was a bit stumped at the San Marzano tomatoes but after an Internet troll I now know the answer.
    I have always made Tapenade and this is a lovely extension of that.
    Thanks Mimi – you are the best!! :))

    • chef mimi May 16, 2020 at 7:40 AM - Reply

      aww, thanj you Mary! any high quality canned/tinned tomato will work!

  7. jenniferguerrero1 May 13, 2020 at 6:12 PM - Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Mimi! We adore pasta puttanesca, too! Yum! This looks amazing! How’s your hand recovering?

    • chef mimi May 13, 2020 at 6:15 PM - Reply

      Tomorrow the staples are removed and I’m in a cast for four weeks. I miss cooking!

      • jenniferguerrero1 May 13, 2020 at 6:17 PM

        At least you’re on the road to recovery! I’m going to laugh when you have a stack of dishes two months long that you simply can not wait another moment to make!

      • chef mimi May 13, 2020 at 6:22 PM

        HAHAHAHAHAHA! I thought you were going to say a stack of dishes to wash!

      • jenniferguerrero1 May 13, 2020 at 6:23 PM

        Ha! I’d wash for a little puttanesca! :D

  8. sippitysup May 13, 2020 at 6:54 PM - Reply

    I know the point of this recipe is to free the puttanesca from it’s pasta origins. But I so want to toss the leftovers with linguine! GREG

    • chef mimi May 13, 2020 at 6:54 PM - Reply

      Just double the recipe! You might want to anyway. It’s really good.

  9. sherry May 13, 2020 at 10:53 PM - Reply

    lots of my fave flavours here Mimi. well except for tomatoes… I wonder what else you could use in place of them? capsicum maybe…

    • chef mimi May 14, 2020 at 8:34 AM - Reply

      Nope. Nothing replaces tomatoes. Sorry 😬

  10. All That I'm Eating May 14, 2020 at 7:40 AM - Reply

    This is such a great idea! I’d love to try this exactly as you’ve served it, I bet it works with so many different things.

    • chef mimi May 14, 2020 at 8:33 AM - Reply

      Just some bread and this relish would be a perfect dinner for me! It’s so good!

  11. David Scott Allen May 14, 2020 at 8:44 AM - Reply

    This looks pretty wonderful, Mimi! The book, as well… These are some of my favorite flavors, as well. I use them last night as a topping for salmon, and you’ll be seeing that soon on the blog. (Well, maybe in the fall… With all this extra time on my hands I’ve gotten way ahead of myself and posted all the way through August!)

    • chef mimi May 14, 2020 at 5:22 PM - Reply

      Hahahaha! I didn’t do much when the pandemic started because in anticipation of a march surgery, I’d scheduled posts though June. Then surgery date changed, but i had very little to cook for the spring months. And now i can’t do anything at all with a cast on my hand. The salmon dish sounds wonderful!

  12. My Little Italian Kitchen May 15, 2020 at 4:56 AM - Reply

    How could I say no to this! It is one of those “feeling good” dishes just perfect for these quarantine days! You always cook really nice food Mimi. I hope you and your family are all well. x

    • chef mimi May 15, 2020 at 7:26 AM - Reply

      Aww, thank you! I’m very attracted to really nice food!

  13. Ron May 15, 2020 at 7:21 AM - Reply

    A great looking relish or perhaps for use in a cold pasta salad. Totally full of yummy ingredients. You’ve got me interested in this book. I think I’ve found it here but the covers different. Is the ISB number 9781788790376 ?
    Thanks for sharing this with us and stay well over there.

    • chef mimi May 15, 2020 at 9:33 AM - Reply

      No. Same author, but even though it sounds exactly like the same book, published in different years. ISBN: 978-1-84975-567-2

      • Ron May 15, 2020 at 10:24 AM

        Thanks Mimi. Interesting, when I search your ISB it tells me they don’t have it but show me the one I found and two other books by her. I’ll email the publisher and see if they are the same.

  14. cookingontheweekends May 15, 2020 at 10:32 PM - Reply

    I’m definitely trying this. Pasta Puttanesca is one of my favorites, too, so I’m totally drawn to this. Fun for a party. (Hopefully we’ll have one of those again one day!) :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi May 16, 2020 at 7:42 AM - Reply

      I do miss a good party! I’m really lucky to have some great girlfriends, and we all love the husbands too!

  15. Conor Bofin May 16, 2020 at 2:38 AM - Reply

    Very attractive stuff Mimi. I hope your thumb improves quickly and we can see more of this type of stuff.

    • chef mimi May 16, 2020 at 7:43 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much. Hopefully you can get relief as well soon.

  16. Susan@savoringtimeinthekitchen May 16, 2020 at 8:47 AM - Reply

    This sounds like a delicious change of pace for the olive tapenade I usually make! Perfect for a summer meal on the patio. I have to go back and see what I missed about your thumb!

    • chef mimi May 16, 2020 at 8:50 AM - Reply

      I once did a combination of bruschetta and tapenade and called it tapeschetta (brilliant, right?!!) and that was fun, but this is really so much like enjoying puttanesca, just without the pasta! I was bone on bone at the base of my thumb and had surgery on it.

  17. Frank Fariello May 17, 2020 at 7:16 AM - Reply

    This sound fabulous. I’m a big puttanesca fan like you but never thought to make a relish out of the ingredients. Sounds like tapenade on steroids.. or just a cousin anyway. I’d enjoy it very much on toast with a nice cocktail to get the evening started off right. :-)

  18. neil@neilshealthymeals.com May 18, 2020 at 8:23 AM - Reply

    Had a Tapas day here yesterday Mimi. I wish I’d seen this recipe before as that puttanesca relish would have gone so well with our meat plater. Oh well there’s always next time! :-)

    • chef mimi May 18, 2020 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      Yes, next time. Don’t forget! It’s so good.

  19. Brooks May 18, 2020 at 9:36 AM - Reply

    What a lovely book gifted by your mother! The ingredients of the relish, all commingled, couldn’t be more delightful and screams versatility. Gauging by the reader comments, clearly this is true. Bookmarked for a sooner than later turn in the kitchen. Cheers!

    • chef mimi May 18, 2020 at 9:52 AM - Reply

      It’s fabulous like Le book! And both recipes I’ve made so far are wonderful!

  20. Kelly | Foodtasia May 18, 2020 at 2:14 PM - Reply

    I’m so loving this relish, Mimi! The flavors are wonderful!

    • chef mimi May 18, 2020 at 3:29 PM - Reply

      You can imagine! Puttanesca without noodles!

  21. Kim Bultman May 18, 2020 at 3:22 PM - Reply

    Since your Puttanesca sauce was FABULOUS, Chef Mimi, I can only imagine that a relish from the same derivation (and your “eye” for flavor) would be, too. What a great idea! Wish I’d seen it before I made my recent charctuterie platter (on FB), but good things come to those who wait — including those recovering from surgery.

    Sorry to learn you’ve been ailing, but glad you were able to have it corrected. I’ve suffered from an inoperable “numb thumb & forefinger” on my left hand ever since a boating mishap two years ago and it’s been the bane of my existence — in the kitchen and at the piano — never mind almost cutting my right index finger off when our back door slammed shut SUDDENLY during the recent high winds. (Such fun.) We do the best we can with what we have — or whatever digiits we have left! Happy cooking and a speedy recovery, xo!.

    • chef mimi May 18, 2020 at 3:28 PM - Reply

      Oh goodness. Thumbs are so important, as you know. it’s a crazy surgery with a sucky recovery, but I’m excited to have my thumb working again. Then, my left hand. I didn’t know you’re on FB! I’ll look you up!

  22. Laura May 18, 2020 at 9:03 PM - Reply

    This relish sounds fantastic, Mimi! And you’re so right, a bit lighter than tapenade! Can’t wait to try this!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 6:52 AM - Reply

      You’ll love it!

  23. Abbe@This is How I Cook May 19, 2020 at 11:32 AM - Reply

    I could chomp on this all day. That book sounds awesome!

    • chef mimi May 19, 2020 at 11:36 AM - Reply

      It’s a sweet book. Loved this “relish.”

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