I have posted a caponata recipe before, but having not made it for a while I had forgotten how really satisfying and rich this was as a meal. I have been playing around with it a bit, and this week in the cafe I served it on a bed of linguine and spaghetti, which seemed very popular. There are lots of ways of adapting this – next time I might try putting sherry in it!
4 tbs olive oil
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 large aubergines, cut into 1.5cm cubes
2 medium courgettes, roughly diced
3 small celery stalks, finely diced with the leaves
1 x 400g can of good quality chopped plum tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Handful green olives, thinly sliced
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Demerara sugar
75g dried linguine
75g dried spaghetti
Handful chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1. Place the aubergine cubes in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt and toss together. Leave for half an hour to bring out the juices then rinse thoroughly and drain.
2. In a large saucepan, heat half the olive oil and gently sauté the celery, onion and garlic until soft but not browned (approx. 10 minutes)
3. Add the tins of tomatoes, including juice and simmer to reduce for 10 minutes.
4. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, sultanas and olives and simmer for a further 10 minutes, then take off the heat.
5. In a separate frying pan, add the remaining olive oil and fry the aubergine cubes and courgette until tender.
6. Add all the ingredients together and simmer for a final 10 minutes. Season to taste.
7. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan bring the linguine and spaghetti to the boil in salted water until al dente. Rinse, drain and stir through 2 tbs olive oil.
8. Allow the caponata mixture to cool slightly and stir through the chopped parsley. Serve over the pasta with a final drizzle of olive oil.