top of page



Submitted by:

Minimalist Baker

It doesn't get much easier or more versatile than pasta. It's a hearty meal for anyone and endlessly adaptable to your tastes. When meat and dairy is cut out, some people who are new to plant-based cooking may wonder how to get some rich and delicious flavor into their pasta sauce.
This yummy Penne Arrabbiata recipe by The Minimalist Baker is the perfect place to start: delicious, simple and adaptable. You can easily add in some tofu, chopped up vegan sausages or jackfruit to make it even more fulfilling.


Water for boiling
1 Tbsp salt (for seasoning the water)
10-12 ounces pasta of choice (penne is best // gluten-free as needed)

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for finishing (if oil-free, sub water and add more as needed as it evaporates)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tsp crushed red pepper flakes*, plus more for serving
3 Tbsp tomato paste* (organic, high quality when possible)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (we prefer Pomi or San Marzano)
3 healthy pinches sea salt, plus more to taste
2-3 tsp maple syrup, plus more to taste

FOR SERVING optional
1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, chopped or torn

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat a large rimmed skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper flake (for milder spice, start with the lesser quantity — for a serious kick, go with the full amount!). Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and watching carefully not to let it burn.

Add tomato paste and stir into the garlic and red pepper flake (a spoon or rubber spatula works best). Cook until fragrant and the tomato paste has darkened slightly — ~2-3 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, salt, and maple syrup and stir. Bring to a very low simmer. Cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced slightly and the flavors are deepened.

Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt to taste, red pepper flake for heat, or maple syrup for sweetness / to balance the spice. A bit more tomato paste can be added for depth of flavor, but a little goes a long way. And if the flavors aren’t quite developed, simmer for just a bit longer (covered) to allow the flavors to deepen.

Meanwhile, when the water in the pot boils, add the pasta and stir to prevent clumps. Cook to al dente according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water then drain the pasta.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. If your sauce looks too thick, add pasta water 2 tablespoons at a time until you have a silky sauce that clings to the noodles. You likely won’t need all of the reserved pasta water.

Serve as is or garnished with vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Extra red pepper flakes on top add additional heat and a pop of color.

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days, though best when fresh. Sauce is freezer friendly (when stored separate from the pasta) for up to 2 months. Reheat pasta on the stovetop, adding a bit of water to thin as needed.

Original recipe by The Minimalist Baker -

bottom of page