This vegan caponata pasta boasts a lovely combination of sour, sweet and savoury flavours that's just perfect for summer. Inspired by the traditional recipe for Sicilian caponata, the pasta is loaded with courgettes, sweet red pepper, olives, capers, and juicy raisins for an explosion of colour and taste.
Caponata is a traditional Sicilian recipe that uses loads of summer vegetables. You can make it with any type of vegetable you would expect to find in a Mediterranean-inspired dish such as ratatouille. Anything from courgettes and tomatoes to sweet peppers and aubergine are excellent options for caponata.
What makes caponata different from ratatouille is that it's of a more of a sweet and sour dish. That happens because it's spiked with red wine vinegar and sprinkled with briny capers and juicy raisins.
The combination of flavors is incredibly appealing. The dish is typically served on top of slices of crusty bread.
This vegan caponata pasta recipe takes the popular Sicilian dish to the next level by transforming it into a healthy yet delicious pasta dinner. You can whip up the caponata pasta sauce in just under 30 minutes. The result is a light meal that's deliciously satisfying while packing your five-a-day.
What ingredients do you need for caponata pasta?
Caponata pasta is a naturally vegan recipe, which means you need absolutely no fancy ingredients to make it.
All you need is a mix of veggies such as red onions, courgettes, sweet peppers, and tomatoes. You'll also need a couple of things to nail the sweet and sour flavour that makes caponata so distinctive. I use a mix of Kalamata olives, capers, raisins, and red wine vinegar to achieve that effect.
Add a bit more texture to the pasta dish by sprinkling some pine on top. You can also add more to each individual bowl before serving.
For pasta, the best choice is a short shape with lots of crevices that can trap the sauce. I used dischi volanti, also known as or messicani pasta. This pasta has kind of a flying saucer shape and works great with chunky vegetable sauces such as this.
How do you make it?
- Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Reserve some pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the red onion and sweet pepper for 4-5 minutes until they soften.
- Add the courgette and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the garlic and oregano and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and a dash of pasta water, lower the heat and simmer for five minutes.
- Next add the Kalamata olives, capers, raisins, and red wine vinegar and stir to combine.
- Add the pasta to the pan and toss it well. Stir in the toasted pine nuts and parsley and season to taste.
Recipe notes and tips
- You can also add aubergines to the caponata pasta. Cook them with all the other veggies or cut them into 1-inch cubes and then roast them in the oven for 20 minutes.
- You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned chopped tomatoes.
- Add as many colours of sweet peppers as you like.
- Give the pasta a bit of a kick by adding half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
If you liked this vegan caponata pasta, you might also like some of my other vegan pasta recipes: