If you like quick, easy and uber flavorful food then you’re going to love this vegan puttanesca sauce you can pair with just about anything!
This post was originally published on October 20, 2016.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Terra’s Kitchen. The opinions and text are all mine.
We love Italian food but sometimes the same old sauce gets a little boring. So we love to switch it up with fun alternatives like this recipe! The best and most surprising part, is that our kids love it too!
Puttanesca Sauce Basics
This sauce is filled with amazing flavorbomb ingredients. You’d think by taking a glance that it would be too much, but the ingredients pair perfectly together! The added bonus is how quick and easy it is to throw together.
There are some traditional basic ingredients used in this sauce to make it what it is:
- Kalamata olives
Now obviously, anchovies are not vegan, so they don’t really go into a vegan puttanesca. However anchovies main attribution is the salt they contribute. So it’s easy to substitute them.
Since capers have a similar flavor profile, and they already are used in puttanesca, they make a perfect substitute. Simply just use a little more to make up for the loss of anchovies.
For this recipe, there are a few other spices and flavors added in to give the final product the awesomeness it has!
How to Make Vegan Puttanesca Sauce
As I said, this recipe is so simple and easy to make. It is made of some very basic pantry type items, so if you’re looking for a pantry recipe, it’s a good one!
Here are the few steps you need to get this done in under 30 minutes:
- Combine the tomatoes, garlic, red pepper and salt with oil or broth and let it simmer to thicken.
- Add in the olives, capers, thyme and parsley.
- Toss with the pasta.
This recipe originated from a partnership I did with a meal service called Terra’s Kitchen. Unfortunately they are no longer in business but I felt I needed to mention them since it was not my original creation.
How to add protein
If you want to make this an all encompassing meal and add a serving of protein, there are a few things I would suggest:
- Store bought veggie based sausage.
- These chickpea sausage crumbles.
- Add some white beans to the sauce, you can add canned ones at the end.
- Crumble up some tempeh and add it in with the tomatoes at the beginning to give it an almost bolognese like feel.
Other topping ideas
I love to use my vegan parmesan cheese on just about anything, so first and foremost I would say, KEEP THIS CHEESE IN YOUR FRIDGE AT ALL TIMES.
That’s how much I love it. LOL But if you want to give this recipe a little makeover, you could also top with a drizzle of this creamy vegan Alfredo like sauce to give it a creamy twist!
While pasta is the obvious choice here. Any type of pasta works, even a gluten-free alternative you love. But you can also serve this on top of many other things! Here are a few things we’ve tried:
- Spaghetti squash
- Blanched zucchini noodles
- As a topping for rice
- As a topping for quinoa
- In a veggie lasagna, simple sub this for one of the layers or double it to use as the tomato sauce base
This would also go great with salad! You can use an actual salad recipe or simply add a side salad tossed with balsamic, sea salt and a drizzle of oil or broth if you are oil free.
Here are some salad recipes to try if you want something a little more involved:
There are actually many stories about where this name came from. Some resources say it was first called “alla marinara” and then the name changed after the second World War.
Other sources say it originated in the brothels, which is what the word “puttana” means.
And yet others say it was invented one night when the owner of a restaurant wanted to feed his hungry customers and simply threw together what he had.
Puttanesca sauce has a very salty bold and rich flavor. It combines the saltiness of the olives, capers and anchovies (if you use them) into the tomato sauce to result in the delicious end result.
Yes! Capers are simply flower buds that have been pickled. So they originate from a plant.
Yes! It is made of whole food ingredients and has some great nutritional benefits. The only thing to watch is if you have issues with sodium as it has a higher salt content.
If you love Italian food, here are some other delicious recipes to try:
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Vegan Pasta Bake
- 3 Ingredient Vegan Pasta Sauce
- Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll Ups
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Vegan Puttanesca Sauce
For the pasta:
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes , optional depending on how spicy you want it
- drizzle oil for sautéing , or broth if oil free
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley , save 2 tablespoons for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 8 ounces penne pasta , gluten-free if needed or other shape of choice
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese , optional for serving
- Add tomatoes, garlic, red pepper and salt with oil or broth into a pan and simmer 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Stir in olives, capers, thyme and all but 2 tablespoons parsley (save for garnish).
- Cook 1 more minute or until thoroughly heated.
- Cook pasta according to directions on the box.
- Add pasta to the hot sauce and toss.
- Garnish with parsley and top with Parmesan if desired and serve!
- You can serve this with many things, like spaghetti squash if you don’t want to do pasta.
- Parmesan is optional but highly recommended
- Nutrition facts do not include optional items
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.