Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

Aug 04, 2019

All photographs by Christine Moss

A flavorful vegan recipe with a nod to Naples, Italy — and a perfect comfort food for late fall and winter!

Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients, it’s all a part of the adventure. It also makes for a fun trip to the farmer’s market to pick out each special ingredient. We like this sauce over pasta, but you can also eat it just by itself in a bowl with a side of delicious fresh bread.


Puttanesca Sauce



  • 3-4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (Spanish or white, diced)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 4 cups total zucchini and/ or yellow squash cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried red chili flakes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can of organic crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives pitted and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup green olives pitted and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup capers drained
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 5-6 leaves fresh basil finely cut (chiffonade)
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley stems removed and chopped



  1. Pour olive oil into a large pot over a medium heat on the stove (enough to coat the bottom of the pot)
  2. Add in the onions, garlic, celery, carrot, red and green peppers and zucchini.
  3. Lightly salt (about ½ teaspoon)
  4. Stir every 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are soft and translucent (about 10-12 minutes total)
  5. Add in the oregano, thyme and red chili flakes, stir together for another minute or two.
  6. Carefully pour in the crushed tomatoes. Note: it will probably splatter a bit so the lower you can ease the can into the pot before pouring it out, the less the mess.
  7. Rinse the can with about ½ cup of fresh water and pour that into the cooking pot as well.
  8. Mix together the tomatoes with the vegetables and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally from the bottom to make sure it is not sticking. You want to see the top of the pot bubbling gently, if it is not raise the heat a little.
  9. Add the nutritional yeast, black and green olives and capers and stir all together slowly. 
  10. Add the maple syrup, parsley and basil and stir. Taste and add any salt needed or additional spices if you wish at this time.
  11. Shut off the heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

It tastes even better the next day and believe it or not — it’s even good cold right out of the refrigerator. 



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