Pescetarian Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe

15 Mar

This is a basic non-meat pasta sauce which I just whipped up for my dinner after work, not much chopping involved, and it’s easily adapted – throw in whatever kind of veg you have on hand, courgette, aubergine, carrots, onions, olives etc. I’ve added anchovies and sardines for protein, but you could easily leave these out for a purely vegetarian pasta sauce, or, add meat. I sometimes throw in a tablespoon of capers as well. I tend to use spray olive oil to keep calories and fat low, but you could use normal olive oil as well. Basically, this is a guide, play with it.

Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 20 min

Serves 4


  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 100 g mushrooms, closed cup
  • 2 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin anchovies (1 tin normally 35 g)
  • 1 tin sardines in brine, drained
  • olive oil
  • Maldon salt
  • pepper
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano


First, chop the onion and shallots and chilli. You can de-seed the chilli if you don’t like a kick, otherwise leave them in.

Spray some olive oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. If not using spray, use 1 tsp oil. Add the onions, shallots and chilli to the pan and gently sautee. If sticking, add a spoonful of water to the pan to soften the onion mixture. Then crush the garlic and add. Cook until mixture is soft and translucent, but it shouldn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. In the meantime, slice the mushrooms and finely dice the carrot. Add the mushrooms and carrot to the mixture and cook for 10 minutes, til soft. The mushrooms will add some liquid to the mixture. Sprinkle in the dried oregano and basil, about 1/2 tsp each. If you have fresh, then use, as the flavour will be much nicer.

Add the chopped tomatoes, anchovies, a pinch of sea salt (eg Maldon), and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. You can simmer for longer if you like to reduce the liquid a bit and make the sauce thicker. Just before serving, drain the sardines and add to the sauce, stir to break into chunks. Serve with hot pasta of your choice and freshly grated Parmesan.

  • 152 calories per serving
  • 15 g carbohydrate
  • 11.9 g protein
  • 5.3 g fat
  • 2.7 g fibre

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