Spaghetti ya Mboga (Spaghetti with Roasted Vegetables)

This recipe really surprised me I must say. I left the tomatoes simmering for a long time and that really made the flavours pop. Originally this is a recipe from a book called Swahili Kitchen although I made it a little lighter by roasting the vegetables instead of frying. I also used less spaghetti because I prefer a more sauce/less spaghetti combination, it is easier on the stomach that way. Although this recipe doesn't at first glance look very African, there are areas on the Northern side of the Diani Coast in Mombasa Kenya which have lots of Italians and they have mixed interestingly with Swahili culinary tradition. Ya Mboga means "with vegetables" in Swahili.

Note that you will need an ovenproof baking dish for this recipe. Also keep in mind that you will need to allow time for the vegetables to cook (at least 40 minutes).

A lovely Kenyan dish packed with vitamins and goodness

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan

Spaghetti ya Mboga (Spaghetti with Roasted Vegetables)

Serves 3-4


  • 1 zucchini, chopped coarsely
  • 1 eggplant, chopped coarsely
  • 1 onion (red), chopped finely
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 12 pitted olives (green), sliced thinly
  • Half a pepper (red), sliced thickly
  • Half a pepper (yellow or orange), sliced thickly
  • A dash tabasco sauce
  • 250 grams (8¾ oz) spelt spaghetti
  • 10 grams (¼ oz) parmesan (optional, omit if you are vegan or lactose intolerant), grated
  • 125 millilitres (4¼ fluid oz) tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


  1. Slice the zucchini lengthwise and chop coarsely.
  2. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and chop coarsely.
  3. Peel the onion and chop finely.
  4. Peel the garlic and chop finely or press through a garlic press.
  5. Slice the pepper halves in fairly thick slices.
  6. Slice the 12 olives in thin slices.
  7. Chop the 6 tomatoes coarsely.
  8. Grate the 10 grams parmesan cheese.
  9. Rub a few drops coconut oil in a large oven proof baking dish.
  10. Add the pepper slices, zucchini and eggplant to the dish.
  11. Roast in the oven (highest shelf) for 20 minutes (on high heat).
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  13. Add a couple of drops coconut oil to a large saucepan.
  14. Stir fry the chopped onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until the onion is fairly tender.
  15. Add chopped tomatoes, olives, capers and the dash tabasco sauce. Turn the heat up and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated somewhat (it should not be too easy to stir the ingredients). You might allow the vegetables to simmer for some extra minutes, which is fine.
  16. Add the roasted vegetables (eggplants, zucchini and peppers) to the saucepan as well as the 125 millilitres tomato puree and 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Turn the heat up and allow to simmer with the lid off for 20 minutes. If the liquid evaporates quickly you may reduce the time. The consistency should be like a very, very thick soup.
  17. Whilst the vegetables are cooking, prepare the spaghetti. Fill a medium saucepan with water and boil the 250 grams spelt spaghetti according to instructions on the packet. Drain the spaghetti and set aside.
  18. Divide the spaghetti between 2 or 3 serving dishes.
  19. Pour the vegetable mixture on top.
  20. Add grated parmesan on top if you like or serve separately.
  21. Serve with brown rice and a sliced baguette or other nice bread.


  • You can use a yellow onion instead of the red one.
  • You can use wholemeal spaghetti instead of the spelt spaghetti.
  • You can use black olives instead of green olives. 
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.