This classic vegan pasta salad from Southern Italy consists of sauteed vegetables dressed with a vegan olive-based sauce.
- 1 (12 ounce) package fusilli pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, or more if needed
- ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
- ¼ cup Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon capers in brine, drained
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic, minced, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook fusilli in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Mix to coat and set aside.
- Combine pitted olives, parsley, capers, red pepper flakes, 1/2 of the garlic, vinegar, and 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil in a mini food processor. Blend to create a rough, runny paste. Set dressing aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute eggplant until tender and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Add remaining extra-virgin olive oil and saute zucchini until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to soak any excess oil.
- Cook bell pepper, onion, and remaining 1/2 of the garlic in the same skillet until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and heat until they begin to blister. Return eggplant and zucchini to the skillet and mix to combine. Remove from heat and transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Cool to room temperature.
- Mix pasta and dressing with the vegetables; toss to coat. Add more olive oil if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.