Pasta Caponata: a vegetarian dish that meat eaters will love

June 16, 2018

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

This Pasta Caponata recipe, from the BOSH! recipe book, is full of ingredients that my family do not like, namely capers and olives. However I didn’t tell them and they wolfed it down. There was one remaining portion which my youngest son ate cold the next day which just shows you how much they loved it. This is now a staple as whilst the list of ingredients seems long, most of them are in one’s store cupboard and so it is only the aubergines, cherry tomatoes and celery left to buy.

Bowl of Pasta Caponata

Pasta Caponata

Ingredients: serves 4-6

2 aubergines (about 500g)
300g cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp chilli flakes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 celery stick
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
2 sprigs fresh thyme
30g small capers
40g raisins
60g pitted Kalamata olives
500g penne pasta
10g dark chocolate
20g fresh parsley
1 tbsp balsmaic vinegar
40 g pine nuts
salt and pepper

How to prepare:

Trim the aubergines and chop the flesh into 2cm cubes. Lay on the lined baking tray along with the cherry tomatoes and drizzle over 1 tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with a good layer of salt, pepper and the chilli glakes,  put the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhil, pour the remaining 2 tbsp of oil into the large frying pan. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Trim the leaves and root from the celery, then finely chop and add to the pan. Cook the onions, garlic and celery for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, until they are soft and translucent.

Add the tomato purée to the pan and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, thyme, capers, raisins and olives, plus a little salt and pepper to taste, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and let everything cook for 5 minutes. Remove the roasted aubergines and tomatoes from the oven and add them to the pan, giving everything a stair. Put the lid on and simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to stop it burning.

Boil a kettle and fill the large saucepan with the boiling water and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, following the instructions on the packet. Strain away the water and tip the cooked pasta back into the pasta pan.

Meanwhile, chop or grate the dark chocolate and sprinkle it into the caponata sauce. Chop the stalks from the parsley and save for another revipe, then chop the leaves and add ¾ to the pan along with the balsamic vinegar. Simmer for a further 3-5 minutes with the lid off. Taste and season if necessary. Pour the sauce over the pasta and fold it in, making sure everything is covered.

Put the small frying pan on a medium-high heat and toast the pine nuts in the dry pan until golden. Sprinkle over the pasta along with the reserved parsley leaves before serving. Enjoy!

To purchase this cookery book, BOSH – simple recipes, amazing food, all plants, click HERE.

For more vegetarian recipes click HERE.

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