Caponata pasta in pan, garnished with basil and parmesan

Caponata pasta

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(52 ratings)

Prep: 2 mins Cook: 18 mins


Serves 4

Whip up our easy vegetarian caponata pasta in just 20 minutes. It's simple to make and packs three of your 5-a-day into one delicious meal

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal542
  • fat14g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs85g
  • sugars21g
  • fibre9g
  • protein14g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 4 tbsp olive oil (or use the oil from your chargrilled veg, see below)
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 250g chargrilled Mediterranean veg (peppers and aubergines, if possible) from a jar, pot or deli counter, drained if in oil (you can use this oil in place of the olive oil) and roughly chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp small capers
    Capers in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 350g rigatoni, penne or another short pasta shape
  • bunch basil, leaves picked



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), shaved, to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion for 8-10 mins until starting to caramelise (or for longer if you have time – the sweeter the better). Add the garlic for the final 2 mins of cooking time.

  2. Tip in the mixed veg, tomatoes, capers and raisins. Season well and simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins, or until you have a rich sauce.

  3. Meanwhile, boil the kettle. Pour the kettleful of water into a large pan with a little salt and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender with a little bite, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Tip the pasta into the sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if it needs loosening. Scatter with the basil leaves and parmesan, if you like, and serve straight from the pan

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Comments, questions and tips

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24th Jan, 2020
This is one of those ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ recipes. It’s REALLY good. I found that with the capers and Parmesan it was salty enough, so where it says ‘season well’ I shall use black pepper but not salt next time. Like others, I didn’t add the raisins.
Boristhebeagle's picture
29th Oct, 2019
Gorgeous dish. Left out the Capers and the Raisins, just didn't seem quite right. Don't really like tinned tomatoes in my pasta, so replaced with passata. Also jars of chargrilled peppers and aubergine are really expensive, and just seem like a lazy way out, so just roasted my own fresh veg. If you are feeling lazy, there are packs of frozen chargrilled mixed veg. to be found for only about £1.50 which work well. Will be making again.
11th May, 2019
Whole family loved this!
Frantic Flapjack
29th Apr, 2019
This had an excellent taste and didn't take long to cook. I left out the capers.
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