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Pasta Puttanesca - Vegan Recipe

Updated on March 26, 2016
Robie Benve profile image

Born and raised in Italy, Robie loves good, healthy food (even better if it's easy to cook). She proudly raised 2 kids that eat everything.

Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

5 stars from 1 rating of Vegetarian Pasta Puttanesca
Spaghetti with Puttanesca sauce
Spaghetti with Puttanesca sauce | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 17 min
Ready in: 27 min
Yields: Serves five people


  • 1 lb Linguine
  • 2 1/2 cups (500 gr) Whole peeled tomatoes, Diced
  • 3.5 oz Black olives, Whole or sliced, your choice
  • 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp Capers, Drained
  • 4 Anchovies (optional)
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup Fresh parsley, Minced
  • As liked Black pepper, or red pepper
  • As needed Salt

A Very Tasty Dish

Puttanesca sauce, typically used on spaghetti or linguine, is a traditional Italian red sauce, made with tomatoes, garlic, capers, black olives, parsley, and typically would include anchovies.

Anchovies are salty fish fillets, and taste very salty and very fishy. Some people, like my husband, do not like them, just because of taste. Others wouldn’t eat them because of diet restrictions.

The good news is, if you don’t eat anchovies, for a reason or another, the puttanesca sauce tastes great without them too. In fact, including in the recipe anchovies, capers, and olives there is always the risk to get a sauce that is too salty. Eliminating the salty and fishy taste of anchovies from the recipe can actually enhance the other flavors.

Instructions For Puttanesca Sauce

  1. In a large frying pan heat the olive oil with the garlic on medium heat.
  2. Before the garlic turns brown, add the tomatoes, chopped in small pieces and the tomato paste.
  3. Cook for ten minutes, then add the capers and olives, and cook for five more minutes.
  4. In the meanwhile cook the linguine according to the directions on the package, keeping them al dente.
  5. Rinse the anchovies, remove any bones, and cut them into smaller pieces. Complete the sauce adding the fresh parsley and the anchovies. Stir the sauce and taste to see if it needs any salt.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, making sure you keep some of the cooking water to add in case after you add the sauce the dish gets a little dry.
  7. Pour the linguine in the pan with the sauce and stir, over medium/high heat for two minutes.
  8. Transfer everything to a big serving dish or bowl, and enjoy while still hot.

Anchovies: very tasty ingredient, but otional.

Anchovy jar. If for some reason you don’t eat anchovies, the puttanesca sauce tastes great without them too.
Anchovy jar. If for some reason you don’t eat anchovies, the puttanesca sauce tastes great without them too. | Source

What Are Capers?

Capers are the unopened flower buds of a bush, the Capparis Spinosa.

A common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, capers are usually pickled or salted. The salted ones are tastier and usually healthier, because they don't need additives and preservatives.

You find them in stores next to pickles, olives, and other condiments. If you buy the ones cured in sea salt, make sure you thoroughly rinse them, to eliminate the extra salt.

Capers have different sizes, depending from the region of origin and kind. The smallest ones, nonpareils, are usually from France, the biggest ones are called grusas.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a very popular ingredient in many recipes of the Mediterranean cuisine, and they have been proven to have wonderful health benefits, both eaten raw or cooked.

While most fruits and vegetables lose great part of their vitamins when cooked, cooked tomatoes have a special nutrient that becomes more powerful with the cooking process, especially when the tomatoes are cooked with their skin and seeds.

This amazing essential nutrient for humans is lycopene, a carotenoid that gives the red color to tomatoes. Lycopene has wonderful benefic effects to prevent bad cholesterol, or LDL, high blood pressure, and it is a powerful antioxidant that fights the action of free radicals on cells, contrasting the aging process.

The advantages of eating tomatoes don’t stop at the beneficial effects of lycopene.

Tomatoes are rich in water, about 94% of their weight, low in calories, and with a good content of minerals and water soluble vitamins. A food perfect for the hot summer months, but surely healthy all year long: light, fresh, nutrient, and flavorful.

Among the minerals contained in tomatoes: potassium, good against water retention and high blood pressure; phosphorus that is necessary to our body to function and stay in good shape; and calcium that fortifies teeth and bones.

Pasta Puttanesca Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 90 gr (3.2 oz)
Calories 550
Calories from Fat207
% Daily Value *
Fat 23 g35%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 20 g
Carbohydrates 73 g24%
Sugar 4 g
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 13 g26%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

© 2012 Robie Benve


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    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks That Grrl, it's a tasty dish, and you can try without olives, I'm sure it will taste good as well. :)

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      That's a yummy looking photo and I don't even like olives.

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Hi kittyjj and carol7777, I'm glad the recipe sounded so appealing to you. It's one of the Italian classic recipes, a nice change to plain tomato sauce.

      I love to include all kind of things in my sauces, and fish goes always very well with pasta: tuna, shrimp, tilapia, etc. would do great if added to this recipe too.

      Thanks a lot. :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I have to say this recipe has all my favorites including anchovies. It sounds devine. I am putting a huge bookmark on this page and am going to try it really soon.

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      This recipe sounds interesting. I have never tried spaghetti with fish. Anchovies? I just looked them up on the internet and I think I have eaten this type of fish before, but I just didn't know its name. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and interesting!