Welcome back to Meat Free Monday! I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I am totally head over heels in love with this Caponata Spaghetti Pasta. It’s a vegetarian pasta, but don’t get turned off by the fact that it vegetarian because this is absolutely delicious over and beyond what I’d expect it would be. It may sound exaggerated, but it’s not. The taste is really good for a vegetarian option like this.
I have a separate post for Caponata and that same recipe is the one that I used for this pasta. Caponata a simple and yet delicious eggplant anti pasto, or some people call it eggplant stew. It’s basically stir frying the eggplant and sautéing most of the remaining ingredients with it. Then you add just a right amount of vinegar and brown sugar to give it a nice sweet and sour flavor.
Ever since I made Caponata, I kept on making it almost 2x a month, I just cannot get over it. I ate it with bread, with steamed rice, as pizza toppings (coming soon), and with pasta like this one. It got lots of texture and it’s bursting with flavor. It just so good and tasty. The fact that the Caponata itself is packed with flavor and taste, I did not have to do anything with the spaghetti pasta except just to add some olive oil. I wish you could taste this right now so that you’ll fully appreciate what I’m saying. Well, you can make it and you can let me know how you like it. This is a very simple dish and definitely sure winner. I’ve always believe that not everything are created equal, because this Caponata Pasta is way above the other vegetarian pasta that I’ve ever tried. Try it to believe. Let’s get started!
Make-ahead recipes are my favorite and Caponata is one of the dish that you can make ahead of time. In fact, I highly suggest that you make it ahead of time because Caponata taste even better after left overnight or even for few days. What I normally do is to leave it overnight in the refrigerator, then when I am ready to use it, I reheat it in the pan, then I add in my cooked spaghetti noodles.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 400 grams eggplant – cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small yellow/white onion – thinly sliced
- 1 stalk of celery – diced
- 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives – cut 1/2 into half and leave the rest as whole
- 1 small tomato – chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 tbsp raisins
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp chili flakes
flat-leaf parsley (chopped for garnish)
- Spaghetti Pasta – cooked as per package instructions
- In a heated pan, pour olive oil then add the eggplant and fry, turning over several times until golden brown. Transfer the eggplant to the paper towel lined rack.
- Add the onion, tomato and saute until they are tender and starting to brown and the tomato juice starts to flow out from it.
- Add the celery, olives, chili flakes and saute until the celery starts turning translucent, but still crunchy.
- Add the tomato paste and simmer until sauce is reduced to your liking. Leave a little bit of sauce for the spaghetti to absorb, don’t make it totally reduced.
Finish the Caponata by adding the raisins, vinegar and brown sugar then stir. Return the cooked eggplant to the pan. Season and taste again before adding the spaghetti or any pasta noodles you like.
Add the cooked spaghetti noodles and toss until combined. Cook for another 1-2 minutes just to get the Caponata to stick to the noodles. Season and adjust as desired.
Serves 3 – 4
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