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Hi all, since caponata is one my favourite dish and I spent 5 years in the “hometown” of caponata (Naples) I can’t be out from this topic. This is the original Southern Italian recipe. Don’t let the number of ingredients scare you- with the help of a food processor, the vegetables are ready in few minutes. It can be made several days in advance. Caponata dates back tp the seventeenth century and is popular not only in Naples but also throughout Sicily, Calabria and Basilicata. This tasty dish is traditionally served on Christmas Eve, during Lent, and on special occasions such as New Year’s Eve or Day.

Caponata 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 large onion (I suggest the violet one), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 17-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup Italian green or black olives, brine-cured, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (It is called “the touch of the chef”)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Wash, dry and cut vegetables or put through food processor. If using food processor, pulse individually 2 or 4 times, just until chunky, and set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute’ celery , onion and pepper for 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute’ for 1 to 2 minutes or until light golden brown. Add eggplant, tomatoes and tomato paste. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add olives, vinegar, capers, pine nuts, sugar and salt. Simmer 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until all vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature with crostini or flatbread.

Variations: if you prefer caponata a little sweeter, substitute 2 tablespoon raisins for sugar or add 1 additional teaspoon of sugar. If you prefer caponata spicy, add up to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.

It combines nicely with a meat sandwich for lunch or you can serve as an interesting appetizer, or to complement a simple dish, such as a broiled fish.

Source: mr. red

 
recipes/caponata_2.txt · Last modified: 2007/02/15 01:17 by Fresh Foodie
 
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