My Mediterranean pasta sauce makes midnight dinners a breeze! It is the ultimate dinner for when you don't have much time but you feel like something utterly delicious. Fresh vegetables, juicy tomatoes, flavoursome capers and red onion all roasted together to make a delicious sauce!
The flavoursome pasta sauce is so simple to make, with only 7 minutes of hands on time and 30 minutes in the oven. Throw everything into a tray, bake until juicy and toss through al dente pasta to finish. I love stirring through baby spinach once baked to up that veggie intake.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
This pasta dish is perfect for easy dinners! And the whole family will love it. Here's what I love about this healthy mediterranean pasta:
- made in under 40 minutes with only 7 minutes of hands on time, making it a great dinner for busy weeknights.
- serve as a main dish or as the perfect side dish.
- this dish uses classic mediterranean ingredients and is completely plant based.
- easily make gluten free using gluten free pasta.
Ingredients Notes & Substitutions
Make this yummy Mediterranean pasta recipe using just a handful of simple, fresh ingredients. Below is a list of the ingredients that you will need as well as any important notes and possible substitutions.
- cherry tomatoes - I love using mixed cherry tomatoes but you can use all red or all yellow, it's really up to you. You can also use grape tomatoes or mini Roma tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are best but you can absolutely use up those cherry tomatoes that are getting a little soft.
- red onion - also known as Spanish onion. Swap for brown onion in a pinch.
- garlic paste - normally I would use minced fresh garlic cloves, however this dinner is meant to be speedy to make. So to cut down on time I used store bought garlic paste. Each teaspoon of garlic paste equals one garlic clove. If using fresh garlic, use about 3 cloves.
- capers - these are the flavour bomb. You could also swap for black olives (like Kalamata olives) or artichoke hearts.
- sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper
- chickpeas - I love using chickpeas as the protein source for this recipe. You could also use a cubed white fish, cubed Atlantic salmon or thinly sliced chicken breast. Or serve alongside grilled chicken breast or thigh.
- zucchini - in this recipe I've used diced zucchini. You could also swap for thinly sliced red peppers (capsicum).
- extra virgin olive oil - my favourite oil for adding polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (healthy fats) to a meal.
- baby spinach - the baby spinach is added in at the very end, once the sauce is already baked, to preserve as many nutrients as possible. You can use fresh arugula in place of baby spinach.
- lemon thyme leaves - use other fresh herbs like fresh basil or fresh parsley. If you don't have any fresh herbs you can use about a half teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
- pasta of choice - I've used a gluten free pasta, similar to rigatoni but smaller. You could use a whole wheat pasta, farfalle pasta or penne. Or use spaghetti to make a Mediterranean spaghetti!
- red pepper flakes
- parmesan cheese
- sun-dried tomatoes
How to Make Mediterranean Pasta
I think this pasta dish is about to become your mid-week best friend. Dinner really couldn't get easier to make.
First drizzle olive oil onto the base of a large baking dish. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic paste, capers, salt, pepper, chickpeas, zucchini and thyme. Use a large spoon to toss all of the ingredients together.
Pop the dish into the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Give it a good stir at the halfway point to get those tomatoes spilling out all of that delicious juice.
Meanwhile, once you've popped the dish into the oven, boil pasta in large pot of salted water, following the package instructions.
When the cherry tomato mixture is baked, remove from the oven and add the fresh baby spinach. Stir through until wilted.
Once the pasta is al dente, carefully strain off the boiling water. Pour the tender pasta into the pasta sauce dish and toss to coat with the juicy sauce. Serve warm just as is or topped with red pepper flakes for spice and/or parmesan cheese. for extra flavour.
Store any room temperature leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Or divvy up the leftovers into individual containers for easy lunches the next day.
- Chopping Board
- Sharp knife
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Large Baking Dish
- Large Pot
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 640 grams mixed cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 red onion skin removed, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup capers
- 2 medium zucchini diced
- 400 grams canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 3 teaspoons garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 100 grams baby spinach
- Salt & pepper to season
- 500 grams Pasta
- Parmesan cheese optional
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Drizzle around 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil into the base of a large baking dish.
- Add the halved cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, sliced red onion, diced zucchini, capers, garlic paste, salt, pepper and thyme. Toss to coat evenly.
- Place baking dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway.
- While the pasta sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the pasta and boil until al dente. Once al dente, strain.
- Once the pasta sauce is cooked, remove from the oven and add the baby spinach, stirring through until all of the spinach is wilted.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pasta sauce in the baking dish and stir to combine.
- Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese (optional).