This veggie-fied version of traditional Puttanesca Sauce will bring a whole world of flavor to your next bowl of pasta. The secret ingredient is the roasted fresh tomatoes!
If you've been following the blog for a while, then you know that I'm a huge pasta lover! Growing up in an Italian family meant pasta was on the menu nearly every week.
And so I've learned a thing or two about amping up an otherwise boring bowl of pasta. In fact, I've learned that there are few things in life as delicious as homemade tomato sauce.
So today I'm sharing my favorite homemade puttanesca sauce. Yum!
This puttanesca sauce is:
- Loaded with freshly roasted tomatoes!
- Packed with flavor from garlic, olives, and capers.
- Easy to make with simple ingredients.
- 100% vegetarian and vegan friendly
While you're here, be sure to grab our FREE 5-Day Meatless Meal Plan. It's packed with tasty recipes to make vegetarian cooking easy and delicious!
How to Make Homemade Puttanesca Sauce
- Roast tomatoes in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Blend tomatoes in food processor.
- Add olives, capers, and herbs.
Detailed instructions with measurements can be found in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.
What is puttanesca sauce?
Puttanesca is an Italian pasta dish traditionally made with tomatoes, olives, capers, and garlic and served over spaghetti or other long noodles.
Many traditional versions include anchovies, but my version is entirely vegetarian (and vegan too)!
What does puttanesca mean in Italian?
In Italian, alla puttanesca literally means "in the style of a prostitute". (I swear - it's even in the dictionary.)
Why is it called puttanesca?
There is a theory that the dish was invented in one of the many bordellos in Naples in the mid-20th century. As far as I know, there's no real proof of this fact, but it sure makes for a fun story at dinner.
Tips, Tricks, and Variations
You can use the roasted tomatoes as a base for just about any kind of pasta sauce - simply roast the tomatoes with the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and then once they're roasted and pureed, stir in any additional ingredients. This makes a great flavorful marinara sauce as well!
Roma tomatoes work best for this recipe (and most pasta sauces) because they have a meaty texture with very few seeds. This makes them perfect for cooking down into a hearty sauce.
You can freeze this puttanesca sauce for several months and it will stay deliciously fresh, so feel free to make an extra large batch!
If you love this recipe, be sure to check out these other delicious vegetarian recipes:
- cooking spray or olive oil mister
- 2 lbs Roma tomatoes cut into large chunks
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- ¼ cup olive oil divided
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp basil fresh, chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano fresh, chopped
- ½ cup kalamata olives sliced
- 2 tbsp capers chopped
- pinch red pepper optional
- pinch brown sugar also optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or olive oil.
- In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Transfer contents of bowl to baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened and just beginning to caramelize. Allow to cool slightly.
- Once tomatoes and garlic have cooled a little, transfer them to food processor. Add remaining olive oil and process until smooth. (For a chunkier sauce, pulse until sauce reaches desired consistency or skip the food processor and mash with a fork.) Stir in remaining ingredients and additional salt if needed. Serve over pasta.