Pasta sauce making is easy if you follow a few rules.

I always make my own pasta sauce just because I think it tastes much better than a jar of pasta sauce. I also watch the pasta cook those few minutes so I get them out of the boiling water so they are “al dente”. There is a reason for that: Not only does pasta get mushy if you cook it too long, it also become higher in the glycemic index the longer you cook it. And when you stir and try pasta while cooking once a while, you get the pasta out of there at the right time. I like “new” pastas like gluten free or quinoa pasta. They are much lighter to digest I feel. I still have to try to make my own pasta sometime. Gnocchi I know how to make, but papardelle?  I like to also keep my pastas vegetarian. And this recipe below for pasta arrabiata with pesto tempeh meatballs  (or should I say tempeh meat cubes?) is even vegan! Organic tempeh is my favorite source of protein. You might know it from asian dishes, but I want to show you it tastes great in italian dishes like this one. Tempeh you can buy at many health food stores and asian supermarkets. Some regular supermarkets even carry it nowadays.


Love, Lonneke

homemade pasta arrabiata & pesto tempeh meat balls
An organic, vegan twist to a famous italian pasta dish.
Cuisine: italian
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 2
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • All organic:
  • Pasta for 2
  • 1 small onion, chopped.
  • 2 garlic cloves minced.
  • 1 large can of tomatoes
  • ½ a cup of dried tomatoes
  • 1 table spoon of dried hot pepper flakes.
  • Dried or fresh parsley (or any other herb like thyme or oregano you like)
  • Salt
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 piece of Tempeh for 2
  • 4 spoons of pesto sauce
  • or make it yourself:
  • Lots of basil
  • Arugula
  • Olive oil
  • Cashew nuts
  • Lemon
  • Salt
  1. Start with the pasta sauce.
  2. In a skillet fry the onion and garlic in a bit of oil until golden brown.
  3. Add the canned and dried tomatoes and stir frequently
  4. Add half a bouillon cube and stir.
  5. Let the pasta sit for a bit on low heat and stir frequently.
  6. If the sauce gets too thick add a bit of water.
  7. Taste the sauce and see if you need more seasoning/salt//bouillon cube.
  8. Add the dried parsley.
  9. Add the hot pepper flakes slowly and taste frequently to see if it doesn't get too spicy.
  10. Use a blender to make the sauce more even texture.
  11. Cook the pasta following the instructions on the package.
  12. Tempeh:
  13. Cut the tempeh in small cubes.
  14. Grill them in a skillet until a bit brown and crispy.
  15. Add pesto sauce to them and warm up.
  16. Homemade pesto sauce:
  17. Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until a smooth texture. Taste it (using a spoon, watch your fingers in a blender!) and see if it needs either more salt, more cashew nuts or oil to make it more creamy, more lemon to give it more zest, or more basil or arugula for more flavor)
  18. When the pasta is ready, drain it well and add to a bowl. Add the pasta sauce on top and then afterwards add the crispy pesto tempeh "meat cubes".