Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca/

I was craving pasta with this aromatic sauce and was curious about its history. To my surprise, it turns out that it seems to be a rather recent culinary invention. The “original” version is sautéed in  olive oil and often includes anchovies. Of course, I wanted to make mine oil-free and all plant-based.  The recipe below, which I  slightly modified, comes from (where I received my Forks Over Knives certification). This is a very robust sauce that will please omnivores and plant-based eaters alike. Enjoy!


Serves 3-4

Pep Time: 20 minutes     Cook Time: 25 minutes (includes cooking the pasta)


8 oz of whole grain pasta

½ cup onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ tsp. of hot pepper flakes

¼ cup vegetable stock (home-made or low-sodium store-bought) for sautéing

3 ½ cups of fresh tomatoes, cored and finely diced (approx. 1 ½ lb.)

1-2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar (optional, if tomatoes are sweet)

1 tsp. dried basil

2 Tbsp. capers

½ cup of kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

½ cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped



  • Heat large pot of water and boil pasta according to package directions, drain. Have sauce ready for the pasta.
  • Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften and brown a little.
  • Add garlic and hot pepper flakes and sauté for about another minute. Deglaze pan with vegetable broth.
  • Add tomatoes, dried basil and balsamic vinegar (if using) and cook for about 10 minutes
  • Then add in the capers, olives and parsley, stir through and let cook for another 5-7 minutes, until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated. Approx. 15-17 minutes in total. Timing depends on how juicy the tomatoes are.
  • Add in the pasta, stir through and serve.


I used a brown rice linguine style pasta. Any whole grain pasta, like a fusilli (spiral) type will work great also.

I am able to get vine-ripened tomatoes year-round. Look for those, if tomatoes are not in season. In a pinch, you can use canned chopped tomatoes.








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