Friday, 3 January 2014

Pasta with Greek Tomato Sauce (Vegan)

Pasta with Greek Tomato Sauce
After many years holidaying in Greece, I'm still yet to recreate an authentic copy of the Greek version of Napoli/Napolitana sauce. I've tried various variations from a very basic sauce with just onion, garlic, herbs and tomatoes, to a sauce with different combinations of vegetables (courgettes, peppers and carrots), but none are quite's probably due to the fresh, ripe, Greek tomatoes, but may be due to some other hidden ingredient, which I am yet to discover. 

Do let me know the traditional recipe if you have it!

Anyway, here's my take on the dish, which is low-fat, only takes about 30 minutes to make and costs a very economic £2 to serve 4-6 people. It has lots of garlic plus an added kick of chilli and a touch of fragrant cinnamon - simply omit these for an Italian rather than Greek-style sauce. I generally make a double batch of this sauce and freeze half. You can use the sauce for lasagne, bolognese, veggie meatballs, aubergine parmigiana etc.

Serves 4-6
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 bay-leaf
  • ½ tsp dried Greek oregano (optional)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon/½ cinnamon stick (optional)
  • ½ tsp fresh red chilli, very finely chopped
  • 2x400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes (use good quality, not an economy brand for the best flavour) - or about 800g/1lb 12oz fresh, ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 450g/1lb dried pasta (rigatoni, penne etc.)
Heat the oil in a large pan.
Add the onion and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes, before adding the garlic.
Allow the onion and garlic to cook without colouring.
Add all of the remaining ingredients (except the pasta) and simmer for 15-20 minutes with the lid on.
Remove the cinnamon stick and bay-leaf (if using).
Blend briefly with a hand blender if you prefer a smooth sauce.

 pasta pleaseReturn to a low heat and allow to reduce whilst cooking the pasta for 10-12 minutes. Drain the pasta and serve topped with the tomato sauce.

For vegan garlic bread, simply mix a further small crushed clove of garlic with 2 tbsp dairy-free spread and a little chopped fresh parsley. Spread generously onto fresh crusty bread and bake in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

I'm linking this post to this month's, garlic-themed Pasta Please Challenge hosted by Tina at The Spicy Pear and started by Jac at Tinned TomatoesPop over and take a look at the other great pasta dishes all using garlic.

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  1. I love authentic sauces on pasta. I'm no good at making them but my boyfriend has quite the talent for cooking and creating new things. I might just ask him to help me with this one!

    1. Let me know how he gets on the Adi...hope you both like it!

  2. Love simple pasta sauces like this, that can be rustled up in moments using staples from your kitchen cupboard. Thank you for submitting this recipe to this month's Pasta Please Challenge.

    1. Thanks Tina. I look forward to seeing the other entries x

  3. I could eat this every day! Twice a day!

  4. Mmmmmmmmm! I have nothing else to say :)

    1. Thanks Jac, let me know if you find the secret to an authentic Greek Napoli pasta sauce on your travels!

  5. I've not ever used cinnamon in a pasta dish, so I will be trying this xx


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