Vegan Pasta Puttanesca
I tried to pasta puttanesca by default a couple of weeks ago at this new fast casual Italian restaurant that just opened by our apartment. It was the only vegan option and to be honest, I wasn’t super excited about it either. I was much more excited about the prospect of eating fresh pasta that was actually vegan and contained no eggs. Much to my surprise, I did not care for the fresh pasta (I didn’t like the texture), but I loved the sauce. I knew I had to recreate it considering a bowl of that stuff at this particular restaurant was like $12. So I did my research and found that traditional pasta puttanesca was not vegan, but could easily be made vegan by leaving out the anchovies, so that’s basically what I did, while adding a few things and omitting others.
I think the thing I loved so much about this sauce was that it tasted very similar to this dish my family makes at Christmas, I don’t know the exact name of it since my family just calls it ‘baccala,’ which translates to ‘salt cod.’ This dish has similar components, like tomatoes, olives, capers, etc. Of course, leaving out the salt cod. I served it over pasta, but I feel like it would be good with potatoes as your starch instead, since my family serves their dish with potatoes as the starch.
½ tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
14oz can diced tomatoes
½ Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup kalamata olives, sliced
1 Tbsp. capers
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp. sugar
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
salt to taste*
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add in garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine.
Add olives, capers, parsley, basil, and sugar. Stir to combine. Bring sauce to boil then lower to a simmer. Simmer on low for 20 – 30 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes and salt at the end.
Serve over pasta, potatoes, or any other starch!
Makes ~ 1 ½ cup of sauce or 2 servings.
*Capers & olives are very salty. I would try the sauce before salting it, you may find it doesn’t need any additional salt.