There’s nothing fishy about this plant-based pasta puttanesca! Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a naturally dairy-free Italian pasta dish that’s native to Naples. It’s typically made with tomatoes, olive oil, olives, anchovies, chili peppers, capers, and garlic. I don’t usually keep anchovies on hand, so I decided to make a fish-free version. And it did not disappoint!
Plant-Based Pasta Puttanesca is the Perfect Comfort Food or All
This wonderfully flavorful recipe suits almost any dietary need. It can be enjoyed vegan, gluten-free, and top allergen-free. I even have some addition options using everyday ingredients.
Vegetarian-Style: In my opinion, this sauce is just begs for cauliflower. Cook 12 ounces of florets in the sauce, or lightly steam them, layer them atop your pasta, and pour the sauce on. Another delicious addition is chopped artichoke hearts. Or, for more protein, I recommend adding chickpeas.
Chicken: If you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, this pasta puttanesca is delicious with chicken. Thinly slice (1/4-inch thick) 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and drizzle in a little bit of the white wine. Stir to coat the chicken with the starch mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet, and saute the chicken until cooked through, but still tender. Serve the chicken atop the pasta.
Special Diet Notes: Plant-Based Pasta Puttanesca
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-ree, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic or 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (no salt added) or 2 pounds tomatoes, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
- 1 cup olives, quartered (kalamata and/or green would be best)
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces dry pasta (gluten-free, if needed)
- Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, onion powder, and pepper (if using).
- Bring the sauce to a boil, promptly reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in the olives, wine, and capers, and keep the sauce warm over low heat while you prepare the pasta according to the package directions.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce, and sprinkle with parsley, to serve (if using).