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Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

Vegan Pasta Puttanesca (Gluten-Free)

The Pesky Vegan
Pasta puttanesca or 'prostitute's pasta' is a delicious dish that you can rustle up in no time. This vegan and gluten-free version substitutes the traditional anchovies for dried seaweed.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Gluten-free, Italian, Vegan
Servings 4
Calories 517 kcal


  • 100-125 g dried spaghetti per person (use GF pasta to make this gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chilli, finely sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 150 g pitted black olives
  • 2 large sheets of nori (dried seaweed), roughly chopped or into blitzed in a blender
  • Approx. 400 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves (to serve)


  • While preparing the ingredients, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the red onion, garlic, and chilli.
  • After frying for a few minutes, add in the olives, capers, and seaweed. For a little extra flavour, add in a spoonful of the caper brine. Stir well, cook for a couple of minutes, and then add the halved cherry tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook for around 6-8 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down to create a thick sauce, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Top tip: Add some of the pasta cooking water to the sauce. The salty, starchy water helps to season and thicken it, and stops it from drying out. You can keep adding spoonfuls of the pasta cooking water until you're ready to plate up.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and stir it through the puttanesca sauce, coating evenly. Serve with fresh basil, vegan parmesan, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.


Dried seaweed: If you don’t have dried seaweed (nori) sheets, you could substitute these for powdered seaweed. 1-2 tablespoons should be enough. You could also omit this ingredient altogether if you're not keen on the flavour.
Pasta: While best with spaghetti, this puttanesca sauce is great with any type of pasta. It’s always better to cook the pasta ‘to order’ – i.e. if there are two of you eating, just cook 200-250 grams of pasta and save the rest of the sauce for the next time you want to eat. 
Chilli: If you don’t like heat, skip the chilli. I just like the extra zing it adds.  
Tinned tomatoes: If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can easily replace these with a 400-gram tin of whole plum tomatoes or chopped tomatoes. If using plum tomatoes, break these apart in the pan with a spoon. 
Add some cheese: Why not top this pasta off with some Four-Ingredient Vegan Parmesan 
Other additions: There are so many ingredients you could add to this dish, from roasted aubergine or peppers to pan-fried mushrooms.  
Storage: You can store this vegan puttanesca sauce in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to six months. 
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* The nutrition info below is based on 100 grams of dried spaghetti and one serving of puttanesca sauce (total four servings).


Calories: 517kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 15gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 720mgPotassium: 545mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 743IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 3mg
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Pasta Puttanesca (Gluten-Free)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 517 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 720mg31%
Potassium 545mg16%
Carbohydrates 85g28%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 743IU15%
Vitamin C 42mg51%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword quick vegan dinner, quick vegan recipe, vegan spaghetti recipe
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