Inspired by a traditional Southern Italian summer dish, pasta peperonata boasts an explosion of flavors. Plump bell peppers mix with onion, capers and olives for a delicious sauce that's bound to surprise your taste buds.
Some pasta recipes look deceptively simple, but then you have that first bite and wonder how you managed to live without making them.
Pasta peperonata is just one of those recipes. Made with some very simple ingredients, this is a naturally vegan pasta recipe that takes a bit longer to cook, but the results are definitely worth it.
The main ingredients in pasta peperonata are bell peppers and onions. It's just the perfect recipe to make during summertime, and you can use any color of bell peppers you want.
Why you'll love this pasta peperonata
- It has an incredible flavor even though you only need a handful of ingredients to make it.
- It's delicious hot or at room temperature.
- If you love olives and capers, this is a recipe you just have to try.
Ingredients and substitutions
Olive oil — Try to use the best quality olive oil you can for pasta peperonata because it really makes a difference.
Bell peppers — You can use any color of bell peppers you like in pasta peperonata. I made it with red peppers, but a mix of colors is great for more brightness.
Onions — Don't rush the onion cooking process. You want them very soft and slightly caramelized.
Garlic — Freshly chopped garlic is essential for this recipe. Don't substitute it with frozen or jarred garlic.
Balsamic vinegar — Just like in the case of olive oil, it's best to use a good quality balsamic vinegar in this recipe.
Capers — You don't need to rinse the capers because the brine will add extra flavor to the pasta. Simply drain the capers and then add them to the sauce.
Green olives — I used green olives infused with lemon, garlic and basil, but any other type will do. Black olives are also perfect in this recipe.
Pasta — I made this peperonata pasta with rigatoni, but any other type of pasta will work. Penne, fusilli or spaghetti are all great options.
Fresh basil — This adds extra flavor and brightness to the finished dish.
How to make pasta peperonata
Add the onions, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and cook for another 15 minutes until slightly caramelized.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package.
Add the garlic to the pan with the peppers and onions and cook for another minute.
Stir in the balsamic vinegar, capers and green olives, then transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and toss well.
Add the fresh basil leaves, season to taste and serve immediately.
Recipe notes and tips
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat pasta peperonata in the microwave or serve it at room temperature.
- Serve the pasta with some grated vegan parmesan on top if you like.
- Add some toasted pine nuts for a crunchy finish.
If you liked this pasta peperonata recipe, you might also like some of my other easy vegan pasta recipes:
- Coconut Milk Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Pasta with Crispy Tofu
- Vegan Leek and Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Caponata Pasta