Speedy Vegan Pasta alla Puttanesca with Kale

We have a running joke in our house, I say “What would you like for dinner Darling?” and The Gardener (my partner) responds “Spicy tomato pasta please.”




No joke. 

I love pasta, (Seriously, LOVE. IT.)  and this vegan version of our favourite Pasta alla Puttanesca never fails to please. I can’t say it’s particularly authentic, but it is super delicious. I mean, what’s not to love about pasta tossed with lush spicy tomato sauce, with tangy capers and olives smushed through it. I usually add in some greens too, it doesn’t really matter what kind- chopped up kale, spinach, some broccoli florets or even just some frozen peas. Go crazy!

Vegan Puttanesca Pasta

The key to making this vegan Puttanesca not ridiculously expensive, yet still utterly delicious, is to buy & use those large jars of green pitted olives or olives in tins. Of course you can always use posh olives that need using up if you have some, but the green olives in brine are fine. (NB: for some reason the black olives in jars are not so nice- don’t use those!)

The reason I love cooking this yummy pasta as much as I love eating it, is that I can put the pasta water on to boil, and have the sauce complete by the time the pasta is cooked. Speedy. Super Speedy. A delicious sauce in the time it takes to boil water & cook pasta. Because as much as I love cooking (and I do- – have you seen our blog? Oh. Wait. You’re here!) sometimes I have other things to do as well. Like research more things to cook. Or write blog posts about cooking.  Or photograph the food I’ve cooked.

So, from my kitchen, to yours. A speedy, mid-week, never fail, pasta recipe. Make sure you make extra so you can have some to take to work the next day. Cooks treat!

Hope you love it as much as we do!

5 from 2 votes
Speedy Vegan Pasta Puttanesca
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins

A speedy, tasty mid-week pasta recipe. This vegan Puttanesca is full of flavour and perfect for a quick dinner or speedy lunch, 

Course: Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Louise-Claire Cayzer
  • 320 g penne pasta use 80g dried pasta per person , or use up to 100g if everyone is super hungry!
For the Puttanesca Sauce
  • 3 fat cloves garlic, minced. honestly- I use anywhere between 3 and 6 cloves -
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 400 g tins crushed tomatoes (or whole tomatoes, chop them up roughly)
  • 4 Tbs green seedless olives roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbs capers
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder use more if you like it SPICY
  • 1/3 cup red wine (aka- a good sploosh- it's mid week, I'm not really measuring) this is optional- you can omit and add a small teaspoon of balsamic vinegar if you want to
  • 1-2 cups greens (around 1 large handful- it doesn't matter too much ) kale (chopped up) , spinach, broccoli florets- whatever you feel like.
  1. Put a large saucepan of water on the stove to boil (use a LID! It will boil faster) 

  2. Add the oil, minced garlic and tomato paste into a large frying pan & sautee for a minute.

  3. Add the tomatoes to the frying pan and turn the heat up a little. You want the tomatoes to cook down a little.

  4. Add the spices , capers, olives and wine (if using) 

  5. By now your water in the saucepan should be on a rolling boil. Put your dried penne pasta (or whatever shape you're using) into the water, give it a stir.  Most pasta takes between 8 and 10 mins to cook. 

  6. Keep an eye on your sauce, turn the heat down and let it simmer. 

  7. About 6 minutes after you've put the pasta on to boil, add the greens to the sauce. Simmer. 

  8. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain, reserving a half cup of the water. (This is emergency water!)

  9. Mix the pasta into the sauce & greens mixture. If it's all looking like it's a bit dry (it happens) add  a splosh of the emergency water. 

  10. Serve in bowls. For the true vegan experience add a big sprinkle of nutritional yeast. (


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