• This recipe featuring macaroni and gorgeous vegetables is dedicated to Sicily, the first region in Italy to ‘import’ pasta – probably maccaruni – from the Arabs. (Image credit: Laura Edwards).

A most delicious vegetarian pasta recipe

Normally a soup, Frittedda also makes a marvellous sauce for pasta. Packed with gorgeous greens.

Cooking time


Serves 4

what you’ll need

  • 350g dried maccheroncini pasta
  • 50g parmesan, freshly grated*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 150g podded and peeled young broad beans, peeled weight
  • 150g sweet young garden peas, podded weight
  • 300g asparagus tips
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
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Macaroni with a sauce of asparagus, onion, peas and broad beans makes for a delicious meat free and vegetarian pasta. The dish frittedda is a speciality of Palermo, the capital of Sicily, where in the springtime this young vegetable stew is eaten with panelle, chickpea flour fritters.

However, it also makes a marvellous sauce for pasta, and you could also add small, finely sliced artichoke hearts. This recipe is dedicated to Sicily, the first region in Italy to ‘import’ pasta – probably maccaruni – from the Arabs.


Heat most of the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and fry gently until soft, about 6–8 minutes. Add the raw broad beans, peas and lastly the asparagus tips.


Add 100ml water and braise until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 6–7 minutes or until al dente. Drain well and mix with the sauce. Add the parsley and divide between four warmed plates.


Tempted by this meat free recipe? We don’t blame you! Get the rest of the steps from the team at Meat Free Week here.


Meat Free Week is a global campaign to get you thinking about how much meat you eat, and the impact eating too much has on your health, animals and the environment. We’re not just talking about red meat (beef, lamb and pork), but all meat, including poultry, processed meat (like ham, bacon, salami and packaged sandwich meats), fish and seafood.
Going meat free for one week is a positive step towards change, with the hope that for the other 51 weeks of the year you’ll consider eating smaller portions as part of a balanced diet and ensure the meat, fish, eggs or poultry eaten is ethically and sustainably produced. Some may even consider taking meat off the menu altogether.


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