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This vegan pasta puttanesca only needs a few ingredients and is perfect for those who want something fast but still bursting with flavor.
Pasta puttanesca is a classic Italian dish that’s surprisingly easy to cook with common pantry ingredients.
And while the traditional aromatic puttanesca sauce calls for anchovies, it doesn’t mean that vegans won’t be able to enjoy this savory, sweet, and spicy dish with an interesting history.
Vegan pasta lovers must try this anchovy-free pasta puttanesca recipe that’s done in a short prep time!
What Is Pasta Puttanesca?
Pasta puttanesca is a bold and flavorful dish that won’t require a trip to Naples for anyone to enjoy. Its simple and easy sauce features common pantry ingredients like tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and fresh parsley.
And while traditional pasta puttanesca uses anchovies, vegans would be happy to know that they can omit the fish and still won’t miss out on its signature aroma and flavor explosion.
It would be impossible to tell the difference between a classic pasta puttanesca with anchovies and this vegan version.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This recipe proves that anchovies are optional to experience the signature bold aroma and taste of pasta puttanesca.
It’s also an easy, quick, and affordable meal that can make anyone reconsider ordering takeout for weeknight dinner to satisfy their Italian craving.
Those who need more convincing with this vegan pasta puttanesca can consider the following:
- Common Ingredients: There’s no need to visit the grocery to make a classic Italian pasta dish since the ingredients for pasta puttanesca are likely already in the kitchen pantry.
- Perfect for Lazy Cooks: Vegan pasta puttanesca is done in under thirty minutes, and it’s even perfect for those who hate meticulous preparation and cooking tasks.
- Affordable but Flavorful: Pasta puttanesca’s flavor explosion does not require expensive ingredients.
What Does Vegan Pasta Puttanesca Taste Like?
Pasta puttanesca is a harmonious mix of umami, sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors that would make anyone want a second bite immediately after the first.
The rich tomato sauce with the blend of herbs and spices creates an addictive aroma that’s very recognizable, even though it’s not a complex dish to make at home.
The anchovies in a classic pasta puttanesca bring a unique saltiness to the vibrant sauce. Still, anchovy-free vegan pasta puttanesca can be as tasty without the overwhelming deep-sea flavor.
Imagine the blend of rich tangy tomatoes, bold and savory capers, and just the right saltiness from olives. Each comforting bite is very satisfying and filling thanks to the perfect flavor vessel that is spaghetti pasta.
The historical Italian flavors of vegan pasta puttanesca make it the best dish to make and eat after a long day. Its trademark deep umami flavor is perfect with a glass of wine while unwinding.
Is Pasta Puttanesca Healthy?
Pasta puttanesca is one of the healthiest but most flavorful dishes because the sauce is mainly vegetables! Vegan pasta puttanesca is also free from anchovies, so it’s perfect for people who can’t eat high-sodium foods.
The tomatoes in the bold and bright sauce of pasta puttanesca are the superheroes of the dish, not just for the sweet and tangy flavor. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is good for the heart, making each bite of pasta puttanesca guilt-free.
This dish also has garlic, a powerhouse of antioxidants to protect against diseases.
The tastebuds are not the only ones satisfied because the capers in the flavorful puttanesca sauce are rich in minerals, and the olives are a source of healthy fats.
But like any pasta dish, be mindful of the portions, especially for those counting their calories.
What Are The Benefits Of Pasta Puttanesca?
Pasta puttanesca is easy to make, and even busy individuals can quickly whip it up after a busy day. A portion that can feed four people is finished in under 30 minutes.
The rich blend of flavors is also achievable with just a few common delicious ingredients. So those who find themselves craving something rich don’t need to run to the store to make vegan pasta puttanesca.
Because this meal uses everyday ingredients, it’s an affordable and filling option for those who want to budget their meal. No one would guess that the vibrant red pasta dish worthy of a social media post is not from an expensive Italian restaurant.
And, of course, pasta puttanesca is one of the healthiest pasta dishes compared to other fatty and high-carb recipes. Vegan puttanesca pasta even omits anchovies, making it low-sodium and good for the heart, not just the stomach.
Ingredients For Vegan Pasta Puttanesca
- Gluten-free spaghetti – A healthier option for those with dietary preferences. Pasta puttanesca can also be made with any type of pasta available.
- Canned tomatoes – This convenient pantry staple is just as flavorful and healthy as fresh tomatoes. They provide the tangy and sweet flavor of the dish while also making it good for the heart.
- Olive oil – This classic Italian pasta ingredient brings the dish together because of its wine-like flavors. Virgin olive oil pairs well with the tomatoes and other herbs in the pasta puttanesca.
- Olives – Pasta puttanesca is not pasta puttanesca without the salty and bitter Kalamata olives that perfectly marries the rich tomato sauce.
- Capers – Adding tangy and tart capers helps complete the bold and aromatic vegan puttanesca sauce without the briny anchovies.
- Garlic – The pungent and bordering spicy taste of garlic enhances the aroma and flavor of this iconic Italian umami dish. The recipe is best with crushed garlic cloves to melt with the tomatoes, olives, and capers beautifully.
- Parsley – Complete the dish with freshly chopped parsley to add color to the vibrant red sauce and a clean and fresh peppery taste with each bite.
- Salt – A must-have seasoning to adjust the dish to personal preference. Pasta puttanesca already has a lot of salty ingredients, so adding salt will depend on the cook.
- Black pepper – No pasta dish is complete without a final touch of black pepper before serving. The sharp, woody flavor adds heat to break the tangy and salty sauce, but pepper flakes also work.
Tools Needed To Prepare Pasta Puttanesca
Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Pasta Puttanesca
Canned tomatoes are convenient but just as flavorful and arguably as healthy as fresh tomatoes for the aromatic puttanesca sauce.
But if your pantry has fresh tomatoes and a bit of tomato paste, they can also be used for a fresher and tangier taste.
If spaghetti is unavailable, penne, linguine, and vermicelli make perfect vessels for the rich puttanesca sauce. It’s also up to the cook if they want to use gluten-free pasta or regular pasta.
Capers provide the salty flavor to vegan pasta puttanesca without anchovies. But if unavailable, the salty umami taste is achievable with nori flakes.
Nori flakes provide a sea-like flavor without the intense fishy taste. They combine deliciously with the olives and tomatoes in this comforting pasta dish.
How to Make Pasta Puttanesca
- 300g dried gluten-free spaghetti or any pasta of choice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 crushed cloves garlic
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 120g olives
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Tools you need:
STEP 1: Gather and measure all the fresh ingredients for the vegan pasta puttanesca.
STEP 2: Make the pasta water by adding salt to a pot of water until it tastes like saltwater. Bring to a boil.
STEP 3: Check and follow the package instructions for the specified duration of cooking the pasta. In the meantime, pour olive oil into a large pan and cook the tomatoes in it until they burst.
STEP 4: Pour olive oil, olives, and capers into another pan. Fry for a few minutes.
STEP 5: Next, add the cooked tomatoes and drained pasta to the pan with olives and capers. Toss everything around to mix the spaghetti and vegan pasta puttanesca sauce evenly.
STEP 6: Top the pasta puttanesca with black pepper and freshly chopped parsley. Chili flakes are also optional.
What To Serve With Pasta Puttanesca
Vegan pasta puttanesca can level up into a dish that impresses friends and family with delectable side dishes.
It would also be a sin not to serve a slice of buttery and nutty garlic bread with this classic Italian pasta.
But for those that want to stand out with what they’re serving to guests and loved ones, try some creamy potato salad that will cut through the salty and tangy flavor of pasta puttanesca.
Or, for something lighter, the kick from arugula salad should pair beautifully with the fragrant and rich pasta without worrying about additional carbs.
Here are some other mouth-watering dishes from the blog:
Tips About Making Pasta Puttanesca
Here are some tips to make the perfect pasta puttanesca with simple ingredients, even on the first try:
- The pasta cooking water must taste like saltwater.
- If the sauce is too dry, it can easily be fixed with olive oil.
- Even though it’s a sauce without anchovies, remember to taste it throughout cooking, as the ingredients are mostly salty.
How To Store Pasta Puttanesca
There’s no need to worry about leftover pasta puttanesca as it can be stored and still be as delicious for next time.
Knowing the proper storage practices is important so the dish maintains its rich flavor and aroma.
Fridge: After cooling down, store pasta puttanesca in the fridge inside an airtight container for up to three days.
Freezer: If this dish needs to be kept for longer, store it in the freezer in an airtight container for three months.
Reheating: Allow the pasta puttanesca to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating in a saucepan. For those who are tired and want a fast delicious dinner, it can also be reheated in the microwave.
What Is The Origin Of Pasta Puttanesca?
Interestingly, the hearty pasta dish has a not-so-wholesome origin. Pasta puttanesca came from Naples, and some say that the name originated from “puttana” since it was enjoyed in brothels.
What Wine To Serve With Pasta Puttanesca?
FAQ About Pasta Puttanesca
Can you add fennel to pasta puttanesca?
Yes, fennel can be a tasty addition to pasta puttanesca because it adds some sweetness to the salty and aromatic tomato and olive sauce.
Can you freeze pasta puttanesca?
Yes, freezing pasta puttanesca allows the dish to be stored for as long as three months. But for the best taste, it’s better to freeze the sauce without the pasta and serve it with freshly-cooked pasta after defrosting.
1. Gather and measure all the fresh ingredients for the vegan pasta puttanesca.
2. Make the pasta water by adding salt to a pot of water until it tastes like saltwater. Bring to a boil.
3. Check and follow the package instructions for the specified duration of cooking the pasta. In the meantime, pour olive oil into a large pan and cook the tomatoes in it until they burst.
4. Pour olive oil, olives, and capers into another pan. Fry for a few minutes.
5. Next, add the cooked tomatoes and drained pasta to the pan with olives and capers. Toss everything around to mix the spaghetti and vegan pasta puttanesca sauce evenly.
6. Before serving, sprinkle freshly chopped parsley and black pepper over the pasta puttanesca. Chili flakes are also optional.
- Make the pasta water as salty as saltwater and cook the spaghetti al dente.
- If the finished pasta puttanesca sauce is a bit dry, pour in some olive oil.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper before mixing in the spaghetti.
- Nori flakes can be added.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 68mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.
Despite the unconventional history, vegan pasta puttanesca is a hearty and satisfying meal that is easy, healthy, and affordable.
Few common pantry ingredients can create a harmony of flavors that won’t require a trip to Italy to experience.
Vegans and non-vegans will love this pasta puttanesca that’s as delicious as the typical recipe with anchovies.
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