I am not a big fan of tomato-based pasta sauces, but there is one — just one – dish that makes me feel like I’ve died and gone to Italian food heaven: Pasta Puttanesca. Perhaps that’s largely because the tomato flavor in Pasta Puttanesca is not overriding. Pasta Puttanesca without anchovies is pretty much pasta in just another tomato sauce because let’s face it: the anchovies give the sauce that rich saltiness and that sea-like flavor that defines this dish. I came up with a perfect solution for the anchovy dilemma -- a combination of seaweed and tamari. The seaweed adds the ocean-y flavor that’s so integral to Pasta Puttanesca, and the tamari adds that equally important deep, salty richness.
Pasta Puttanesca [Vegan]
- 8 ounces of gluten-free spaghetti
- 2 tbsp powdered seaweed
- 1 tbsp Tamari
- 1½ cups crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 cup pitted, oil-cured olives, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp capers
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and red pepper and toss until the garlic turns lightly golden.
- Add the powdered seaweed and stir for another minute.
- Add the tomatoes, olives, oregano, parsley, and capers. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes release their juices and the juices start to thicken.
- Add the tamari and more salt, if needed. Season with ground black pepper.
- Add the pasta to the sauce, toss to coat, and turn off the heat. Garnish with more parsley if you like, and serve hot.