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Author Notes: My Aunt Tootsie was a fabulous cook because she learned from my Grandmother. This is her recipe for caponata. Great served with antipasti before a meal while singing "Ti voglio bene" as Aunt Tootsie did. —Nicki Filipponi
- 1 Eggplant, unpeeled and cubed
- 3/4 cup Olive oil
- 2 Red bell peppers, sliced
- 2 medium Onions, sliced
- 4 stalks Celery, cut into 1/4" pieces
- 2 tablespoons Capers
- 1/2 cup Pignoli (pine nuts)
- 1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
- 1/2 pound Kalamata olives (pitted and halved)
- 1/4 cup Tomato paste
- 1/2 cup Water
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- Fry the eggplant in 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large frying pan. Cook until brown and set pan aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil to another pan and sauté the red peppers until tender then add it to the pan with the eggplant.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and sauté the onions and celery until soft.
- Add the capers and give it a quick mix with the vegetables.
- Add the tomato paste, sugar, water and vinegar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add to the eggplant and peppers.
- Add the pignoli nuts and olives and cook for 5 minutes, stir to blend the flavors.
- Note that salt is not included in this recipe. The capers and olives are salty. When it is cooked - TASTE and then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cool before serving. Caponata will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. I'm sure it will not be in the refrig for that long. It is so delicious it will not be left over.