How to make Vegan Tomato Pasta Sauce - The Little Plantation

Hi there! If you are here because you want to get the recipe for THE best vegan tomato pasta sauce you've EVER made, then please scroll down to the bottom of this blog post. I won't take offence that you're skipping over my other words. I promise ;).

If you are here because you're super nosy and want to know where I'm at, why it's all change on the blog and instagram in August and what my INSTAGRAM SERIES is all about, then please keep reading ;).

Still here? Cool :). Well, if you're on my mailing list you already know that – together with the man and the boy in my life – I've just set off on a 5 week adventure that will take me to the heart of the Andes in South America.

It's a pretty special trip for me to be honest and I've felt excited about it all for some time. That's because our first pit stop is Colombia. It's here where my father's side of the family are from and where - through this blood lineage – my roots naturally lie too.

I have rather oddly always felt a very close connection to Colombia. This despite the fact that I didn't grow up with my Colombian father (my parents divorced when I was very young and he and I have lived on different continents for pretty much most of my life). This despite the fact that I've only visited once before when I was just a baby. This despite the 'drug jokes' I had to listen to throughout my teenage years. This despite the kidnappings and guerrilla warfare that shaped my vision of Colombia throughout my twenties.

How to make Vegan Tomato Pasta Sauce - The Little Plantation

Despite all that my connection goes skin deep and it's grown immensely in intensity as the years have gone by. I'm so ready to discover a part of myself that I have not had a chance to experience before...

Whilst we are there, I want to be a total tourist and immerse myself in Colombian culture and music. I want to share this important rite of passage with the two human being I love most and be fully present. It means I won't have time to potter about in the kitchen and post my bi-weekly vegan recipes on the blog the way I normally do.

It also means that my instagram account will be much, much quieter than usual. The thing is, I don't want to feel any pressure to share anything whilst I'm away and instead just want to ''be''.

Now if something is ''shareworthy'' – food-wise or otherwise – then I may very well post a snap or two on social media. But if I just want to be in the moment or keep the experience to myself then I won't :P.

This doesn't (necessarily) mean however that there won't be any new content on the blog. In the contrary, my intention (NOTE: careful choice of words here) is to write a blog post a week. Not to share recipes, but as a way to jut down, process and share thoughts, tips and feelings about instagram, food photography, social media, blogging etc. I'm calling it the INSTAGRAM SERIES and have created a little tab called instagram tips so you can find it with ease.

The idea came as a response to questions I receive from my 1-2-1 instagram mentoring students, my food photography students, participants of the instagram photography challenge and my dear mailing list subscribers.

So please do keep checking the blog on Mondays. See you then.

P.S. Looking for FREE food photography tips then please click here.

P.P.S. Want to subscribe to the mailing list, join a FREE photography challenge, get discounts on courses and supperclubs? Then please scroll down to the very bottom of this blog post :).

How to make Vegan Tomato Pasta Sauce - The Little Plantation


This tomato sauce recipe is VERY close to my heart. It's really my mom's (who is an amazing cook) and is uttery, completely, totally delicious. It's always a MASSIVE hit with big and small when we make it. I hope you enjoy it.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 - 2.5 hours

Serves: 12-15 (see tips at the end for details)



1 big onion (red or white), peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely

a dash of olive oil for pan frying

1 medium-sized carrot, washed and grated

4 400g/14ounces cans of plumb tomatoes

1 tbs dried oregano

1 medium-sized carrot, washed and grated

1 dried bay leaf

a handful of washed basil leaves

1-3 tbs of ketchup

salt and pepper to taste 



Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Wash and grate the carrot and get all the other ingredients ready. Heat a large saucepan, add the olive oil and, over a low to medium heat, pan fry the onion. Once translucent, add the chopped garlic, stir for 2-3 minutes before adding the grated carrot, canned tomato, 1 tablespoon of ketchup and all the other ingredients EXCEPT the salt and pepper.

Raise the flame to high so that the sauce ingredients start to bubble. Once the sauce is heated through, add about 1 cup of water and decrease the heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce to about half what you started out with for 1.5 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Please don't rush this process!

Stir the sauce, taste once it's reduced and add some salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and pop the sauce into a high speed blender. One blended and smooth, stir the sauce again, taste and add more salt and pepper (and ketchup if the sauce is too acidic) if need be.

Serve with pasta, courgette pasta or use to make lasagne. The options are endless!

Tip 1: This makes a lot of sauce. I wouldn't however half this recipe because any surplus can be frozen in small batches and use over weeks to come. Ideal for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Tip 2: To keep this paleo, serve with courgette pasta.

Tip 3: For a glutenfree option, serve with glutenfree pasta.

Tip 4: Don't have a high speed blender? Then just use a normal blender and if need be, pour through a sieve so that the sauce is mega smooth.