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The Hairy Dieters' courgette caponata pasta

The Hairy Bikers / 16 June 2017

A delicious Sicilian vegetable recipe from The Hairy Bikers' new book The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie.

Courgette caponata pasta from The Hairy Bikers
Courgette caponata pasta from The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie by Si King and Dave Myers

Preparation time

22 minutes

Cooking time

35-40 minutes




133 (sauce only) 314 (with pasta)


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 3 large courgettes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 200g pasta, such as penne or shells
  • Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped


Caponata is a punchy vegetable dish that can be eaten on its own but it’s also great with pasta.

Do remember to weigh your pasta – it’s easy to get carried away, as we know all too well.

The veg for caponata are sometimes left quite chunky, but for serving with pasta we like to chop everything a bit more finely. If you like, you can add 50g of chopped green olives along with the capers and these will add an extra 20 calories per person.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and peppers. Stir to coat them in the oil, then put a lid on the pan and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened.

Turn up the heat and add the courgettes. Fry briskly for about 5 minutes, until everything starts to brown a little but the courgettes are still firm. Add the garlic, chilli flakes, lemon zest and cinnamon, then stir briefly.

Pour the tomatoes into the pan with a splash of water and add the vinegar, honey and capers. Season with salt and pepper, bring the mixture to the boil again, then turn the heat down and cover the pan. Leave the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and serve with the sauce and plenty of chopped parsley.

Recipe extracted from The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie, £14.99, Orion.

Visit our vegetarian section for more delicious meat-free meals, or try one of our many pasta recipes, including spaghetti carbonara, vegetarian lasagne and spaghetti piemontesi.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.