Traditionally, Puttanesca is a tomato sauce containing anchovies. I’ve tweaked it to create a veggie/vegan treat that we eat often at home. It’s simple, relatively quick and tastes amazing.
1 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
12 pitted kalamata olives
12 pitted green olives
1 tbsp capers
3 garlic cloves
1 medium red onion
3 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp Oregano
½ tsp Basil
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
Salt and pepper
A dash of maple syrup or pinch of sugar
Extra virgin olive oil
As much linguine as you fancy
Put the cashews in a blender and cover with the water. Let them sit for half an hour to soften. Put a large, deep pan of well-salted water on the hob for the pasta.
Chop the red onion finely, set aside.
Place all the olives and capers on a chopping board and dice roughly. Crush the garlic and add to the olive/caper mix.
Heat a carefree slug of olive oil in a heavy, broad-based pan. Cook the onions until soft. Add the olive/caper/garlic mixture and stir well. Add the Oregano and Thyme. When these flavours are blended – after two or three minutes – add the tomatoes and bouillon powder.
Stir in the sugar or maple syrup. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and simmer for 15 minutes – longer for a richer sauce.
Blend the cashews in their water to form a smooth cream. Stir this into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper but taste before serving.
Cook the linguine. Serve with the sauce. A green salad goes well alongside. Freeze any leftover Puttanesca!
- Non-veggies/vegans can add anchovies to the olive mix.
- Cream or cream cheese can be used instead of cashews.
- For a sharper taste, skip the cream.