Vegan Puttanesca


Vegan Puttanesca

My favorite pasta sauce is puttanesca -- it’s full of flavors, simple and complex at the same time. It’s traditionally made with anchovies, but my version is vegan of course! This stores well in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months, so I know what I’ll be doing with all the extra tomatoes and basil from my kitchen garden this summer!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4


  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 can diced or fresh tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup capers
  • 1 tablespoon kalamata olive brine
  • 1 tablespoon caper brine
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped, divided)
  • Freshly ground black pepper To taste
  • Salt To taste
  • 8 ounces pasta (any kind)


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil and add chopped onions. Cook until onions are translucent (about 3 minutes).  

  2. Add diced tomato sauce, olives, capers, olive brine, capers brine, garlic, and red pepper flakes, bringing the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. 

  3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Remove sauce from heat and stir in olive oil and almost all chopped basil, saving some to sprinkle on finished bowls. 

  5. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt.  

  6. While the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain in a colander and return to the pot.

  7. Pour sauce over pasta and stir to combine. 

  8. Divide into individual bowls and top each bowl with a light sprinkle of basil. 

  9. Serve immediately.