Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce Recipe with Tomato Paste

This 10-minute pasta sauce recipe is a game-changer. With no chopping, no special ingredients, and no preparation required, you can whip up a delicious meal without compromising on taste. Inspired by the flavors of Turkish dumpling sauce, this dish is accidentally vegan and belongs in your weekday dinner arsenal.

pasta with tomato paste sauce on a plate

What Makes This Pasta Sauce Different?

This pasta sauce stands out from the rest for several reasons. Not only is it incredibly quick and easy to make, but it also requires no chopping or preparation. Cleanup is a breeze too! What’s more, you only need two pantry ingredients that you likely already have: tomato paste and vegetable oil. You can even skip the spices if you prefer.

pasta with tomato paste sauce on a plate with garnishes

The tomato paste pasta sauce draws inspiration from the Turkish dumpling dish called mantı (MAWN-tuh). The special sauce for mantı consists of oil, tomato paste, and sometimes spices. It is often topped with garlic yogurt and dried mint.

Quick Pasta Sauce Ingredients


This sauce pairs well with a variety of pasta types, such as spaghetti, pappardelle, penne, fusilli, and farfalle. The key is to use bronze-die pasta with a rough, porous texture and boil it with as little water as possible. This method helps the pasta release more free starch, which thickens and emulsifies the sauce.

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boiling bronze die pasta

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is the star ingredient of this recipe. It provides a shortcut for using fresh vine-ripened tomatoes. Tomatoes are naturally rich in umami, thanks to their glutamic and inosinic acids, making them perfect for adding flavor to a simple pasta dish. Tomato paste is highly concentrated, packing a punch of flavor. The brand and type of tomato paste you use can affect the final taste. Avoid canned tomato paste, as it may have a metallic taste. Opt for Turkish tomato or pepper pastes from glass jars, or consider using the Italian triple-concentrated Mutti brand, which comes in a tube.

cooking tomato paste in olive oil


To add depth to the sauce, you can use Aleppo pepper flakes, dried mint (like in the traditional Turkish manti sauce), or experiment with thyme and oregano. For an extra twist, try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon and a tiny amount of cumin.

tomato paste pasta sauce in a decorative Turkish copper pot


I recommend using olive oil for this sauce, but you can experiment with other neutral vegetable oils as well. Vegan butter is an option too, as it adds richness to the dish and acts as an additional emulsifying agent.

Optional: Minced Garlic & Plant Yogurt

While traditional mantı is served with garlicky yogurt, you can skip this step if you find it too unconventional. Alternatively, you can use sour cream as a substitute. If you’re up for it, try making a homemade plant yogurt similar to Kite Hill’s.

garlic and yogurt

How to Make Pasta Sauce in Less Than 10 Minutes

tomato paste pasta sauce ingredients

Boil the Pasta

Start by boiling the pasta. Use less water than usual to increase the amount of free starch released by the pasta. This starch will help thicken and emulsify the sauce.

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Cook the Sauce

In a pan, heat olive oil on low heat and add the spices. Let them bloom for 2 minutes, then increase the heat to medium and add the tomato paste. Cook until the paste turns a brick red color, which takes about 7-8 minutes. This cooking process eliminates any unpleasant metallic taste from the raw tomato paste. Gradually add pasta water to achieve the desired consistency, stirring vigorously to emulsify the sauce.

pasta sauce cooking in a pan

Serve or Save

Mix the cooked sauce with the pasta and serve immediately. For an authentic touch, add minced garlic and yogurt. This pasta sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat and stir before serving.

pasta sauce noodles on a plate


close-up of tomato pasta sauce

More Delicious Recipes

Try these go-to recipes that pair perfectly with this pasta sauce. The combination of yogurt and vegan ground beef complements the flavors of the sauce. If you’re looking for a protein boost, consider making a quick and easy silken tofu dish seasoned with soy sauce, vinegar, and topped with avocado.

manti style pasta sauce on a plate with yogurt and herbs

Did you try this quick pasta recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a comment and a star rating below. Your feedback helps me continue sharing delicious recipes on Aegean Delight. Enjoy!

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