Hearty, economical and delicious, this version of Sicilian Caponata has become a regular weeknight staple in our household, particularly now that aubergines are in full swing. Its the perfect comfort food on these chillier October days. I tend to adapt the recipe to what I have on had at the time. It's also delicious with mint instead of basil, and I sometimes even toss in a couple of anchovies with the garlic and onion. We usually eat it with a big hunk of bread, but its also delicious as a side or even thrown into a a big bowl of tagliatelle. Keep refrigerated and eat within four days.
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 tbsp olive oil 1 large aubergine (cubed) 1 red pepper (cubed) 1 tsp dried chilli flakes 2 garlic cloves (sliced) 1 white onion (finely chopped) A handful of parsley (finely chopped) A handful of basil leaves (finely chopped) 4 large ripe tomatoes (cubed) A large handful green olives (pitted) A handful of picked capers (drained) 2 tbsp white wine vinegar Optional - A handful of cherry tomatoes (halved)
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the chopped aubergine, pepper, chilli and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the aubergine and pepper are browned on all sides, add the garlic, onion, parsley and basil (saving a little of the fresh herbs to garnish at the end). Cook for another few minutes, stirring occasionally, Adding a drizzle more oil if needed. Once everything has softened nicely, add the tomatoes, olives, capers and white wine vinegar and cook for another 25 minutes, until very tender and the aubergine feels very soft. Serve garnished with the reserved chopped fresh herbs, the halved cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.