Meet your vegan macros with this high-protein chick-pea puttanesca recipe that is sure to satisfy and can be prepared in less than 20 minutes! The robust sauce is composed of shredded tempeh and chickpeas stewed with rosemary, lemon, crushed tomatoes, olives, and capers.
The Secret Sauce Is in the Canned Tomatoes - Literally!
The preparation for the sauce is easy and all about simplicity. I would say the key to the sauce is purchasing quality canned tomatoes. Yes, I said it, the kind of canned tomatoes you purchase 100% make or break any tomato-based sauce.
We are on the level of "don't cook with wine you wouldn't drink" - quality ingredients translates to quality health and nutrition.
When I was a young culinary student at The Culinary Institute of America I quickly learned the best canned tomatoes are canned Italian San Marzano tomatoes.
San Marzano tomatoes are a variety of plum tomatoes grown in Italy; True DOP (Denominazion d' Origine Protetta) certified San Marzano's are cultivated and grown in volcanic soil near Mount Vesuvius.
They are full-bodied, tart, and plump, giving any tomato-based sauce a bright and balanced flavor.
You can find canned San Marzano tomatoes at most grocery stores or "san-marzano style" canned tomatoes.
To make this dish high protein, just pair your perfect sauce with a high-protein pasta outlined below. Or make it low carb with zucchini noodles for an easy vegan spaghetti alla puttanesca.
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1: Cook your pasta ‘al dente’, to the tooth
Always get your pasta-water started first. The key to efficient meal prep is the ability to multi-task! Key an eye on the water and boil your pasta while you are moving through the next steps. Set a timer so you can achieve the perfect al dente texture.
Looking for a low carb option? Try this recipe with zucchini noodles.
Step 2: Heat a pot over medium heat and begin to saute your aromatics
Heat a medium sized pot over medium heat and add the oil.
After one minute add the garlic, tempeh, and rosemary. Saute this mixture for 2 minutes to brown the tempeh slightly.
Step 3: Add your tomatoes and chickpeas then simmer
Once the rosemary and garlic become aromatic and you can smell it in the air, add the chickpeas and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium high heat, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Finish with olives, capers, spices and seasonings
After 10 minutes stir in capers, olives, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, and apple cider vinegar. Add a pinch of pepper if desired but don’t salt; the capers and olives will naturally season the sauce for you.
I love to season with acidic ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, fresh citrus juice, and even pickling juice!
Acidity should be used to season just like salt and pepper - it brightens up a sauce and helps round out the flavor.
Step 5: Plate and enjoy!
Your vegan chickpea pasta puttanesca is ready to go! Add the cooked pasta to the pot or zucchini noodles and dig in.
Storing and Serving
Store this sauce in the fridge in any air tight container for up to 5 days or freeze it for use later on.
If making for your weekly vegan meal prep, keep your pasta and sauce separate until you're ready to eat. This will keep everything tasting fresh! A little sprinkle of fresh herbs can also help keep things vibrant.
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