September 19, 2013

Vegan Pasta Puttanesca Recipe

This is so delicious and is such an easy Italian dish to veganise. With amazing intense flavours and an interesting background story, this is a great dish to serve for your vegan and non-vegan friends and family. Basically, 'puttana' in Italian means 'whore'... yes, you read that correctly. There are a few stories that surround this classic dish and the reason for its name. The most common idea behind it is that 'ladies of the evening' would make this between clients due to it being so quick and easy. The other reason is that 'puttanas' slept through the day so were not able to purchase fresh ingredients from the market or were just ashamed to go the market so they would use jarred and canned ingredients as staples for their meals. Either way, this dish is fragrant, easy and so satisfying. When Jerome and I were on our honeymoon in New Zealand's beautiful Queenstown, I ordered this a few times due to its beautiful flavour. I am sure that you will love this as much as we do :)

 serves 4

   250g cherry tomatoes   
   1 tablespoon olive oil
   2 garlic cloves, minced
   2 tablespoons baby capers
   1/2 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
   1/2 cup roughly chopped sundried tomatoes
   2 tablespoons tomato paste
   700g jar passata
   salt and freshly cracked black pepper
   400g pasta of choice
   fresh basil leaves to garnish
   vegan parmesan to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes to the baking tray and spray them with olive oil.
  4. Place the cherry tomatoes in the oven for 10 minutes or so until they appear to be blistered and collapsed. Set them aside.
  5. In a pan on high heat, add the oil, garlic, capers, olives and sundried tomatoes. 
  6. Sauté for 5 minutes or so until fragrant.
  7. Add in the cherry tomatoes, tomato paste and passata and stir until combined.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste (Be careful of the hot cherry tomatoes bursting).
  9. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or so until heated through and the flavours have immersed through the sauce.
  10. In a large bowl, add the cooked linguine and pour over the puttanesca sauce. Toss to combine.
  11. Serve immediately with fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper and vegan parmsesan. Enjoy!

  • Be careful when adding the roasted cherry tomatoes to the sauce. They may burst and burn your lovely face!
  • This tastes so much better the next day due to the delicious flavours developing overnight.
  • Allowing the sauce to simmer for a while allows the flavours to develop.
  • Feel free to add chilli or red pepper flakes to the pasta for heat and extra deliciousness. 
  • Purchase baby capers if possible. They are more fragrant and tasty than the bigger kind.

The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline. Each serving of our pasta is high in thiamin and very high in vitamin B6. 


  1. This looks so yummy. Will try it. Thank you

  2. Yum, yum, yum! I've never seen passata up here in Alaska, but I'll have to keep my eyes peeled. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe :)

    1. Hi Katie! Passata is similar to just a jar of puréed canned tomatoes. Depending on the brand, it may be thin or thick. It is basically an uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of skin and seeds. There may be jars of it at your local supermarket but it may not be called "passata". :) Thank you!

  3. Delicious! I love a simple, flavorful pasta.

  4. This was delicious! Thanks for a great recipe...