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Caponata Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

This week we rescued an abundance of locally grown Sicilian eggplant, those white and lilac-hued globes you may have received in your box! Sicilian eggplant can be incorporated into recipes just like standard eggplant. Use them to whip up a batch of baba ghanoush or eggplant parm, or try your hand at eggplant dal or turn them into falafel for something a little different. Because we also rescued lots of winter squash, we decided to make our first stuffed spaghetti squash of the year with the Sicilian classic caponata, a bold and flavorful stewed eggplant dish, as the hearty filling.

Think of caponata as the Italian version of ratatouille. Often served as a spread for a crostini appetizer or light dinner, it’s traditionally prepared with eggplant, onion, tomato, and celery, and made sweet and sour with a combination of vinegar, olives, capers, raisins, and a little sugar. This version is made without capers and raisins, but you can add those in with the vinegar and olives. Using it as a topping for roasted spaghetti squash makes for a filling and flavorful plant-based supper.

Did you receive one of these beautiful eggplants in your box this week? We can’t wait to see how you decide to eat them up! Don’t forget to snap a photo, post it to social, and tag us @perfectlyimperfectproduce.

Caponata Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Active time: 25 Min.

Total time: 60 Min.

Servings: 2


For the spaghetti squash:

1-2 Perfectly Imperfect spaghetti squash

Olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper

For the caponata:

¼ cup olive oil

½ large Perfectly Imperfect Sicilian eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 ½ cups)

1 Perfectly Imperfect onion, finely chopped

1 Perfectly Imperfect red bell pepper, chopped

1 Perfectly Imperfect zucchini, chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

14.5-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

⅓ cup coarsely chopped pitted green olives

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar or honey, or to taste

Kosher salt and pepper

Chopped fresh parsley


To prepare the spaghetti squash:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on the sheet pan and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the flesh easily pierces with a fork. Once cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the meat of the squash into noodle-like strands.

To prepare the caponata:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet (with a lid) over medium heat. Once hot, add the eggplant and onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and celery, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, olives, vinegar, and sugar. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Cover and continue to cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables are very soft and the mixture is a thick sauce consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top the roasted spaghetti squash with the caponata and garnish with the parsley.

By Carolyn Hodges, MS, RDN


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