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Vegan pasta amatriciana in a glazed clay bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Vegan Pasta Amatriciana

Pasta Amatriciana gets an everyone-friendly and delicious makeover in this vegan version. A brick-red tomato sauce is flavored with garlic, onions, fennel, pepperoncino and parsley, then tossed with penne pasta. It is as tasty as it is easy, and it makes a great weeknight dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course/Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8
Calories: 320kcal


  • Large pot for boiling pasta
  • Large saucepan


  • 16 oz penne pasta (or bucatini or spaghetti. If gluten-free use gf pasta)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bulbs (or heads) garlic (peeled and lightly crushed. The pods should still hold together, so don't make a paste of them)
  • 28 oz plum tomatoes (canned)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (crushed them coarsely or run a knife through them to break them up)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • Salt to taste

For serving


  • Put a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and cook pasta to a level where it's slightly less than al dente.
  • Start the sauce a few minutes before you begin to boil the pasta water. Place the garlic in a large pot with the olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Toss the garlic in the oil until it colors and is a light golden brown but not burned. Fish the garlic out and place it in a food processor bowl.
  • Add the San Marzano tomatoes with their juices to the food processor and pulse eight to 10 times until the tomatoes are crushed but not pureed and the garlic has mostly broken down into small bits.
  • In the pot with the oil still in it, add the crushed or chopped fennel seeds, stir-fry them for a few seconds, then add the tomato paste and the red pepper flakes. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until the paste darkens.
  • Add the onions to the pot along with the crushed garlic and tomatoes and mix well. Add a cup of water, mix well, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer about 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally.
  • Season with salt and ground black pepper. Add the drained pasta to the sauce along with half a cup to a cup of the pasta cooking water. Mix well.
  • Garnish with parsley and sprinkle on vegan parm before serving.


Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Potassium: 446mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1047IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg