Roasted Caponata Pasta With Burrata

September 20, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Meryl Feinstein, Pasta Social Club
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Caponata is a sweet and tangy Sicilian staple that transforms the often-underrated eggplant into the star of the show. There are dozens of caponata variations, each spotlighting local ingredients from Palermo to Catania. In many recipes, large cubes of eggplant are fried, then cooked down with celery, onions, tomatoes, capers, and olives (sometimes bell peppers and sometimes raisins, too), then dressed in sugar and vinegar. The result is a jammy agrodolce spread meets stew that’s equally delicious as a topping for crusty bread as it is for fish. Here, the vegetables are roasted together slowly, then tossed with farfalle (Italy’s chosen shape for pasta salads) and finished with buttery burrata. And, like the original, this dish is best served at room temperature or, better yet, the next day. Note: The sauce can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Meryl Feinstein, Pasta Social Club

What You'll Need
  • 2 globe eggplants (about 1½ pounds)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe cherry tomatoes, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, preferably Castelvetrano, halved
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained and dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces farfalle or other short-cut pasta of your choice
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (4-ounce) ball of burrata (or two 2-ounce balls)
  1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Cut the eggplants into 1-inch cubes. Peel the onion, trim the root, and slice it into ½-inch-thick wedges. Set aside 8 ounces (about one third) of the tomatoes for serving.
  2. Combine ½ cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture onto a sheet pan.
  3. Add the eggplant, onion, and remaining 1 pound (about two-thirds) of the tomatoes to the baking dish. Stir to coat in the olive oil and vinegar mixture. Roast the vegetables in the oven until soft and jammy, about 1 hour and 45 minutes, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables roast, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, olives, and capers and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic just begins to turn golden at the edges, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  5. When the vegetables are done, add the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then fold in the garlic mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Halve the remaining 8 ounces of the tomatoes and add them to a medium bowl. Toss with a light sprinkle of salt and set aside.
  7. Cook the pasta according to the package directions or to your liking, tasting often for doneness. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta (but don’t rinse it!).
  8. Return the pasta to the pot and scrape in the roasted vegetables. Loosen the sauce with reserved pasta water as needed and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain the salted tomatoes, if needed, then add them to the pasta with half of the toasted pine nuts.
  9. Serve at room temperature, either on a platter or in individual bowls, topped with the remaining pine nuts, a handful of fresh basil leaves, and the burrata. Cut into the cheese and finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and black pepper, if you’d like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dariusz
  • Meryl Feinstein, Pasta Social Club
    Meryl Feinstein, Pasta Social Club
  • chinagem
  • ksabow
Meryl Feinstein is a chef and pastaia who left the corporate world for the food industry in 2018. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education, Meryl got her start at the renowned New York establishments Lilia and Misi, where she was part of the pasta production team. During that time, Meryl founded Pasta Social Club, a platform that brings people together over a shared love of food, learning, and making connections both on- and offline. She now lives in Austin, where she hosts virtual pasta-making workshops and develops recipes. Her dishes draw on her travels in Italy, ongoing research into the rich history of traditional pasta-making, and her Jewish heritage.

4 Reviews

Dariusz January 3, 2024
This was way more delicious than I'd expected. A bouquet of flavours. Will make it again in the future!
chinagem November 29, 2022
This is easily my favorite pasta dish and I've made it several times now. I love it so much that I've even used it as a topping for my pizza, sans pasta.
ksabow October 7, 2021
This pasta dish is next level fabulous! My husband said, "This is high end restaurant quality!" He was was so good I'm making it a second time in one week. I love finding fabulous recipes....thank you Food52!
Meryl F. October 8, 2021
I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it!! Thanks for giving it a try. :)