Vegan Pasta Puttanesca, plus tested Pinterest recipes
A few weeks ago, I decided to delve into my very large recipe archive on Pinterest, and cook a new recipe a night. This was a bit of an ambitious goal, and I have to admit that one night I broke down and just cooked white beans with a jar of masala sauce and called it a night. However, the main point was to introduce new recipes that seemed to be easy, healthy, and most importantly, comprised of ingredients we already keep in our pantry. I wanted to update my weeknight routine, and it needed to fit with my new years resolution of being kind to my body. We enjoyed a delicious Inside-Out Spring Roll Salad, Butternut Squash Wontons, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito, a vegan version of a Pasta Puttanesca, and a few others. Some were delicious, others did not live up to their picture.
What I learned about myself is that I can not, under any circumstances, stick to a recipe. The project was to follow 5 Pinterest recipes, and what do I do? I lighten the dressing on Spring Roll Salad. We cut down on the clean up by compacting the cooking process of the wontons by roasting the butternut squash and garlic together. For the burrito, we removed the cheese, and added salsa and guacamole to give moisture. Finally, the pasta needed major changes. So much so, that I realized I had made a different version of the Italian classic. We loved the results so much that I decided to write it up on the blog
Pasta Puttanesca, meaning “Whore’s Pasta”, is usually cooked with sardines, olives, tomatoes, and capers. The idea is that the recipe is comprised of items people in an lower income economic group could quickly pull together dinner from their pantry. Now, Italian purists have certain convictions about recipe authenticity. Just look at the comments section of the original recipe, where they slammed the author for having cheese and fish together–something that had also struck me odd about the recipe, but I digress. However, Italian food is also fluid based off of seasonal ingredients, much less rigid then say French food. Originally, Puttanesca should have sardines, and well, being vegetarian, that just wasn’t going to happen. Cooked during winter, we had no fresh basil. Plus, I wanted to make this dairy free, so we had to drop the cheese. So, this meant I needed to play with portions and find a happy medium so we wouldn’t miss the ingredients. We added more olives and much more spice, and the result was a dish with a little more complexity. This is definitely an easy, healthy meal to add to your repertoire. Enjoy!
- olive oil
- 1 cup of onions, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14 oz)
- 1 can of olives, roughly chopped (not pre-chopped)
- 1/4 cup of capers
- 2 tb dried basil
- 1 tb dried oregano
- 1 tb red pepper flakes, crushed
- 1lb of whole wheat cappellini or angel hair
1. In a large saute pan, put in two tablespoons of olive oil and saute the garlic with the onions. Once the onions are translucent, add the next 8 ingredients. Let the sauce simmer, and stir occasionally. Simmer for 20 minutes
2. Meanwhile, boil water. Once the sauce seems to have blended together, cook your pasta in the water. Drain, then fold the pasta into the sauce. Serve hot.