Caponata with quinoa pasta

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Soy Free

2 Servings, 650 Calories/Serving

25 - 35 Minutes

Sicilian cooking is known for uniting tangy and sweet flavors in one dish, a combination known as agrodolce, or sour-sweet. Caponata, an eggplant and tomato relish seasoned with vinegar and a little sugar or honey, is an iconic example. It’s traditionally long-cooked to a kind of vegetable butter. Here, Chef Justine gives it a Sun Basket spin, lightly cooking the vegetables to preserve their freshness. She then folds in gluten-free quinoa penne, which tastes as good (or better) than traditional wheat pasta.


  • 5 ounces gluten-free quinoa penne (quinoa - corn flour)
  • ½ pound Japanese eggplant
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 ounce Castelvetrano olives
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes (optional)
  • Vinegar-honey blend (red wine vinegar - honey)
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata



Cook the pasta

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta cooking water. While the penne cooks, prepare the caponata.


Prep the caponata ingredients

  • Trim the ends from the eggplant; cut the eggplant lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces.
  • Peel and thinly slice the onion.
  • Trim the ends from the celery; cut the celery on the diagonal into ½-inch-thick pieces.
  • Coarsely chop the olives.
  • Finely chop enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
  • Rinse the capers.
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Strip the rosemary from the stems; finely chop the leaves.
  • Strip the thyme leaves from the stems.


Start the caponata

In a pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, olives, garlic, capers, and as much Aleppo chile as you like. Cook, stirring often, until the onion and celery begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.


Finish the caponata

Stir the tomatoes, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and the vinegar-honey blend into the eggplant mixture. Cook until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in the cooked quinoa penne and reserved pasta water and cook until the penne is hot, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



Spoon the pasta into individual serving bowls. Crumble the ricotta salata on top and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 650, Protein: 21 g, Total Fat: 27 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 20 mg, Carbohydrates: 80 g, Fiber: 13 g, Added Sugar: 4 g, Sodium: 1080 mg

Contains: milk

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