Vegan tomato sauce pasta

Vegan tomato sauce pasta

vegan tomato sauce pasta close up

As much as it pains me to admit this my life isn’t all about making dainty vegan desserts. Sometimes real-life stuff gets in the way and the girl cannot afford to spend hours in the kitchen agonising over the consistency of her lemon curd or the level of sweetness of her chocolate cake.

Sometimes the girl wants the dinner to make itself so that she can focus on other stuff. This is exactly where this vegan tomato sauce pasta comes in.

This dish simply makes itself. All that is required of you is to chop up some garlic and to give the sauce a good stir every now and again.

Although usually I’m a passionate advocate of using real, unprocessed ingredients, it is still winter here (I know I said on Friday that spring had arrived but turns out that Greek weather has had a change of heart) so there are no sweet, sun-ripened tomatoes to be had.

So in this recipe I used good quality tinned tomatoes for the sauce. After all, they would have been picked and preserved at the height of Greek tomato season so they are bound to taste better than greenhouse tomatoes available at this time of the year, right? That’s my logic anyway.

This sauce is a basic vegan tomato sauce with a pinch of chilli thrown in for good measure. You are welcome to put your own spin on it. Fresh or dry oregano, basil and parsley are all good additions as is a little bit of onion (fried with the garlic) too.

vegan tomato sauce close up

vegan tomato sauce blended

vegan tomato sauce pasta

vegan tomato sauce pasta top down

4 cups / 1lt
10 min
60 min
4 cups / 1lt
10 min
60 min


  • 4 x 400 g / 14 oz tins of quality chopped tomatoes or plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 240 ml / 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1-1¼ tsp sea salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder or flakes (optional)
  • large sprig of basil (optional)


  • handful of Kalamata olives
  • handful of chopped walnuts
  • 1-2 tsp lemon zest
  • fresh parsley, to garnish
  • cooked pasta of choice (gluten-free for GF version)
  1. Heat up olive oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Throw in garlic and stir-fry it on low-medium heat until it softens and becomes fragrant.
  3. Chuck in tinned tomatoes. If using plum tomatoes squash them with a potato masher first before adding to the pan. Now add stock or water (I tend to rinse my tins out with it to get all the tomato goodness out), add 1 tsp of salt and chilli and simmer (without a lid) on a low heat for about 45-60 minutes giving it a good stir every 10-15 minutes. You want the tomatoes to break down fully and the sauce to thicken so that it coats your pasta nicely.
  4. Towards the end of cooking time, add a large spring of fresh basil and submerge it in the sauce to release its beautiful aroma. Season the sauce with sugar (to neutralise citric acid used to preserve the tomatoes), pepper and more salt if needed. You can also add a bit more olive oil if you want it to be richer.
  5. If you want your sauce to be smooth, transfer it into a blender and give it a good whiz. I usually skip this step as I don’t mind my sauce a little chunky.
  6. Mix the sauce into freshly cooked pasta. Serve with a few olives and a sprinkle of wanuts, lemon zest and fresh parsley.
3 g
9 g
1 g
4 g
18 g
*per cup
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6 reviews, 12 comments
please include pounds of fresh tomatoes. not helpful when you talk of cans. i use roma italian plum tomatoes. thank you
    Hi Alexandra,
    I made this recipe with canned tomatoes - I give both grams and ounces btw - but typically you will need just over 1 kg / 2 pounds. 1 kg / 2 pounds after peeling and prepping. Hope this helps! Ania
I think I’ve made this recipe at least 10 times. It is my absolute go to when I want a yummy pasta sauce. It is so simple to make thank you!
    I'm delighted to hear that, Channel! And thanks for letting me know that it's been such a favourite! x Ania
I have never left a review for a recipe before. One because I’m lazy but more because I’ve never been wowed. So today I wanted to leave a comment because I am so so so so glad I stumbled across your blog and decided to try your recipes. And I am absolutely mind- blown. Everything I’ve tried so far is absolutely delicious (Thai green curry and the Malabar curry), and this one here was an utter winner with my husband and I. I am so so happy because we’re recently married and I’ve just started my hand at this cooking healthy and tasty meals everyday (while trying to bring him to the vegetarian side as much as possible), so I am so happy with how it has turned out so far. So thank you, so much.
Oh and as for the recipe - I didn’t have olives or basil or walnuts. So I just made it with the garlic, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes. And I added two teaspoons of Nuttelex (olive oil spread) towards the end - gave it this beautifully rich, buttery taste.
    Thank you so much for your kind words, S! I am delighted to hear that my recipes have brought you so much joy and that they went down with your husband also. Thank you for taking the time to leave the review - that's so appreciated as knowing that people enjoy what I have to offer is incredibly motivating to create more. Ania
Elena Rapp:
Loved the recipe. Thanks for sharing and for the beautiful images.
    My pleasure and I am so glad you enjoyed it! x Ania
Thank you for recipe
This recipe is to DIE for. Thank you so much. Convinced my meat eating boyfriend that vegan food can be delicious and BETTER than any animal product dish out there!!
You have a new disciple!! Xx
    I am delighted to hear that, Meg! Thank you for spreading the vegan message and for taking the time to review and rate this recipe - much appreciated! x Ania
Where's the protein? I mean, there's not very much. Searching for suggestions. I guess lentils, fake cheese, TVP, things like that, but it amazes me how many vegans/vegetarians whose bodies are in much better shape than mine can coast by on low protein.
    Our need for protein has been greatly exaggerated and so this meal provides plenty (pasta, walnuts, lentils, TVP) given that our daily recommended intake is only about 0.8 g per 1 kg of body weight!! If you are interested in finding our more simply google 'protein myth' and delve in.
This has become the new favourite for our family. Quick, easy and so so good! Sometimes I wonder how come I never thought before to add olives into the pasta sauce?
We mixed fresh tomatoes with tomato sauce. Somehow our local market manages to supply really good Cretan tomatoes that have a smell and taste even in February-March (and they sell also really good quality GF pasta).
Perfect lunch, when I don't really feel like thinking too much about what to cook. No fuss and everyone loves it!
Great photography, as always! ;)
    Aw, thanks Katrin, awesome to hear! Warm greetings to you both. x
Sarah | Well and Full:
This recipe makes my half-Italian heart smile!! :D
    Aw, thanks Sarah! You made me smile so smiles all round:)
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