Caponata Di Melanzane


8 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 celery hearts cut into little chunks
500 grams ripe italian beefy tomatoes, chopped
60 grams salted capers, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
50 grams caster sugar
Garnish with


Salt the aubergines and leave to drain for an hour in the colander. Heat about 6 tablespoons of virgin olive oil in a sauté pan and fry the aubergine cubes until golden. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Adding more oil to the pan if necessary, fry the onion until soft, then fry all the other ingredients, apart from the sugar and vinegar. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the aubergines to the mixture with the sugar and wine vinegar. Taste for salt and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Caponata can be eaten warm but it is also delicious at room temperature.




This is one of Sicily's most popular and versatile aubergine dishes. You can eat it with bread, as part of an antipasto, or as a side dish with hot or cold meats or fish. It is a wonderful dish however you eat it, even at room temperature as a healthy breakfast. Italian food is simple, elegant and fabulous; it makes the most of the freshest ingredients. Italians don't ask how much food costs: they ask how fresh it is. The concept of a weekly shopping trip is alien to them, as their fruit and vegetables are bought every day. The fantastic thing about Italian food is the fact that there actually is no such thing; Italy was a separate conglomeration of states until 1870. Each region has its own cuisine, and that cuisine has been forged by centuries of geographical area and history. For instance, the food in the Northwest bears a closer relationship to mid-European food because it was influenced by its neighbor, the Austro-Hungarian empire. In the South, the flavours of the Mediterranean prevail, such as the olive oils, the fresh and dried fruit influenced by the Moors: the tomatoes brought from the New World.

Read my introduction and peruse the general recipes, then follow the links to the tastes of Tuscany, Lombardy and Sicily. Italian food is the ultimate comfort food, celebrating the family, family life and family celebrations.

Because Italian food celebrates the magnificence of the food and not the chef, it is easy to recreate at home. Generally it is fast and flavoursome: you can have a homemade pasta dish on the table in half an hour, even if you have made the pasta yourself.


2 servings


Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 4:56pm


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