Yes, pasta marinara is typically a naturally dairy-free and vegan dish. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious. And it’s so darn easy and versatile. Many people drown the wonderful tomato flavors under cheese, but this recipe elevates the sauce itself with delicious ingredient additions, like olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs. And did I mention this fully loaded sauce takes just 15 minutes to make?
Speedy Homemade Pasta Marinara with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
It might not look glamorous, but this vegan pasta marinara is flavor-full. I had run out of kalamata olives, so I used green olives in the photo shown (not the stuffed kind). Kalamata punch the flavor up a little more, but black and green are tasty if you want a milder taste.
This recipe is from Quick-fix Vegan by Robin Robertson. I originally shared it back when this cookbook was released, in 2011, but have given the post a big update. Robin is an author who I lean on for convenient recipes, particularly when I have a full pantry or ingredients that need to be used up. This is a homemade vegan pasta marinara, but Robin uses canned tomatoes to simplify things.
Special Diet Notes: Speedy Homemade Vegan Pasta Marinara
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, sesame-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. It’s also added sugar-free.
- 12 ounces uncooked pasta (use gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- ¾ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved (can sub green or black olives)
- ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook the rotini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the diced tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes have broken down a bit, 5 minutes.
- Add the olives, sundried tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste. Cook to blend flavors, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes longer. Drain the cooked pasta well and serve topped with the sauce.