As a vegan, you sometimes have to take a deep breath and go to a normal restaurant. I met up with my sister at a local restaurant in Stuart, FL at a restaurant in the downtown area called Eighteen Seminole Street Italian Bistro. Italian restaurants are almost completely safe for vegans, as you can always settle for spaghetti and veggies if they don’t have much to offer.
They had a dish called Linguini Puttanesca, which was the only menu option I could eat. I’ve never had it before. Linguini alla Puttanesca is literally “linguini of the whore” in Italian. Well, smack my ass and call me a whore, because this dish was fantastic. It was salty and tangy, which was a fun change from the plain ol’ spaghetti sauce I’ve been eating for 25 years.
Here is my version, “fattened up” with some lentils to give it a meaty texture. This one is A+ husband/boyfriend approved. It’s so easy to make: in fact, this recipe is only broken up into 3 steps! Enjoy!
Linguini Puttanesca in a Meat(less) Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the food processor:
- 4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
- 3 oz, or 1/2 cup, tomato paste
- 3 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tbs, or 1 sprig, fresh oregano
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 pound of pasta (I use Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Quinoa Linguini)
- 1 15oz can of lentils, drained
- 1 cup of Castelvetrano olives, pitted and cut into thirds
- 2 tsp capers
- basil, for garnish (optional)
Step 1: Make the tomato sauce.
Throw in all the food processor ingredients into your food processor. Mix until fully incorporated.
Traditional Italian cuisine dictates that Puttanesca is made with olive oil. However, since Puttanesca is a salty dish, I decided to use coconut oil instead of olive oil. The coconut oil has a subtle sweetness that can help offset the tang a bit, so it complements the sauce well. Not only that, but apparently, olive oil doesn’t do well in high heat, but coconut oil does. I’ve been trying to mix up my recipes to only use olive oil in raw dishes.
Once your sauce has been mixed, pour the sauce into a sauce pan set at medium heat. When the sauce starts bubbling, set heat to low.
Step 2: Cook your pasta.
In a separate pot, boil your pasta until cooked. Strain and rinse your noodles when finished. Set aside, if necessary. Normally, my everything seems to be finished by the time the noodles are finished cooking, so I jump right in and serve!
Step 3: Add the olives, capers, and lentils to your sauce.
I’m an olive snob; I only buy my olives from Whole Foods’s olive bar. These were the olives that turned me on to liking olives in the first place, so it’s been hard to endure low-quality olives when I’ve already had the best. Therefore, I refuse to buy my olives anywhere else. Their Castelvetrano olives are out of this world!
I also buy my lentils canned. It sounds sketchy as f, but it’s actually not that bad! The lentils are organic and come in a non-BPA lining can, so I trust the source. A sad amount of attempts were made (years of trying) to try and transform dried lentils into that texturally-perfect plump consistency, but it never, ever worked for me. Ever since I’ve found organic canned lentils in my local grocery store, it has changed my life. It’s quick, easy, delicious, and perfect for a perpetual lentil failure like me.
Anyway, add in the olives, capers, and lentils. Mix. Cover the sauce and let it sit until your pasta is ready.
Step 4: Serve!
Pour some sauce on top of the pasta, garnish, and serve!
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