Last Updated on February 14, 2021
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is now going vegan! No mock tuna, no mock anything here! It’s made with all real ingredients. Our Spaghetti alla Puttanesca is spicy, salty, has an anchovy-like flavor to it just like the real thing! Whether you had it before or not, this is a must-try recipe that happens to be one of our favorite creations thus far.
There are many stories of the origin of puttanesca sauce or Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. As most of us know it’s the “Lady’s” style pasta sauce which we prefer not clarifying here on our blog using the actual word. The Story are such;
- The ladies were busy even at lunch time so they made a quick pasta using whatever the various ingredients available at the time.
- It was the pasta to entertain customers with hospitality.
- It was a remedy for a quick recovery for the hard-working ladies.
- The stimulus flavor of the pasta reminds of the ladies as they are spicy and intriguing.
- Just like the ladies, the dish is something that’s great to “savor” once in a while but not everyday.
Puttanesca sauce is a variety of tomato sauce. Typical ingredients are tomato, red chili pepper, garlic, anchovies, olives, and caper. But wait, anchovies? No worries! This is when Plant-Based Matters steps in with there twist! Without our creative touch, it will just be a spicy and salty tomato sauce which nobody wants. So, do you know what the secret ingredient is? DULSE FLAKES!
What is Dulse Flakes?
Dulse is a seaweed that grows mainly on the coast of Pacific and Atlantic ocean. The smell and flavor is relatively mild but enough to give a sort of seafood flavor without using actual seafood. So it’s a perfect ingredient for vegans to substitute seafood. The one we use is this dulse flakes from Mountain Rose Herbs. Their dulse is very clean and actually tastes clean as well. Be careful, some dulse has very strong odor and not so clean if we buy low quality one. We highly recommend our favorite one from MRH.
We often associate seaweed exclusively for Asian dishes but it’s not limited to just that. Actually, it’s pretty versatile that you can use it for cuisines such as Italian or Mediterranean dishes where seafood is very commonly used.
Now, to enhance the anchovy-like flavor, we increase the amount of use for extra virgin olive oil and salt! Anchovies are usually salt-cured and preserved in oil. It makes sense!
About the Tomatoes
We aren’t as “busy” as the ladies, so we take time to make sure to use fresh tomato puree. After processing 5-6 medium size tomatoes, it should give you 3-3 1/2 cups of pureed tomatoes. But you can substitute with one 28 oz canned tomatoes puree and measure out what you need. The recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups which doesn’t make saucy pasta, just to be clear! It’s just our (Akiko’s) personal preference.
Try some of our other unique red sauce pasta creations!
Spaghetti Red Quinoa “Bolognese” with Cashew Cream
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives sliced
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp dulse flakes
- 5 - 6 medium size tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- Minced parsley (garnish)
- Black pepper (optional)
- In a large pot, start boiling water for cooking spaghetti.
- Meanwhile, use a high-speed blender to purée tomatoes until smooth. You should have approximately 3 1/2 cups of puréed tomato. Set aside.
- Start cooking spaghetti in salted water for 9-11 minutes (or follow the instruction on the package.)
- Meanwhile, start preparing the sauce. Heat up a frying pan at medium high heat. Pour extra virgin olive oil and add red chili pepper flakes and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and garlic is golden brown and crispy but not burnt which gives more flavor.
- Add kalamata olives, capers and dulse flakes. Cook for 1 minute then add fresh tomato purée, tomato paste. Season with salt and sugar (optional.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes until the pasta is done. If the sauce reduced down too much, add some pasta cooking water.
- Drain the spaghetti and transfer to the sauce. Give a quick toss.
- Serve with minced parsley on top. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil for the finishing touch. Add some freshly crack black pepper (optional.)
- Use more than the typical amount of extra virgin olive oil for this dish to mock the oiliness of anchovies.
- Make this dish slightly saltier than usual tomato sauce to also mock the saltiness of anchovies.