Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca and wine
  • Total recipe cost | R 44.32
  • Servings | 4
  • Portion cost | R 11.08

With a rich flavour and a budget price, this veganised version of Pasta Puttanesca is a winner, especially in winter. 

Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

Traditional Pasta Puttanesca calls for anchovies. Soy sauce and miso paste offer a similar salty, umami flavour in this budget vegan version.

Yields: 4 servings

  • 400g penne pasta | R 14.40
  • water, to boil pasta | R 0.00
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil | R 0.41
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced | R 2.40
  • ½ cup pitted olives | R 5.91
  • 1 tablespoon capers | R 1.63
  • 1 chilli pepper, chopped | R 0.15
  • 4 tomatoes, diced | R 8.00
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce | R 2.19
  • ½ teaspoon miso paste | R 4.80
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste | R 4.29
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar | R 0.15

Cook the pasta | Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water until al dente, about 13-15 minutes.

Cook the veggies | Heat the oil in another pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, olives, capers and chilli pepper and sauté for about 2 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and stir to combine.

Add that something special | Stir together the soy sauce, miso paste, tomato paste and sugar in a small bowl (this makes it easier to distribute the flavour), and add to the tomato pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. It will first become watery as the tomatoes soften, and then it will thicken.

Serve | Divide the pasta between bowls and spoon the puttanesca sauce over.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes

Recipe tips

If you’re short on time – or tomatoes | You could substitute 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, but you’ll bring the cost of the recipe to R 69.30 (or R 17.33 per serving). I, personally, feel this doesn’t offer the same flavour, but that’s subjective anyhow.

If you need to serve an extra person or two | Add 2 more tomatoes and 200 grams more pasta to the mix. This works out to R 55.52 for the full recipe, or R 9.25 per serving. That is if you don’t adjust any other ingredients, which I don’t feel is truly necessary.

If you don’t normally keep miso on hand | I find this to be one of the most valuable ingredients in my vegan arsenal – and use it in a lot of recipes, so I’d strongly suggest picking some up. Woolworths offers a nice one, though you’ll find it cheaper at any Asian grocer. 

Pasta Puttanesca without anchovies

How to make vegan puttanesca even cheaper

  • Skip the miso. You’ll lose a little of that delicious umami flavour it offers, but it will knock nearly R5 off the price.
  • Use the cheapest pasta you can find. 
  • Olives that haven’t been pitted are usually a little less expensive, if you’re willing to do the work yourself.

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