Classic caponata

Simple Sicilian tomato-based stew with aubergines and celery

Stewed Courgettes and Caponata. Photograph: Alan Betson

Stewed Courgettes and Caponata. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sat, Feb 20, 2016, 05:00

  • Serves: 7
  • Cooking Time: 75 mins
  • Course:
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • (serves 6-8)
  • 4 aubergines, cubed and salted
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 head celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50g olives, stoned - black or green
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • handful of basil leaves


First up, salt the cubed aubergines and set aside.

Start the caponata by sweating the onions in the olive oil until soft and then adding the celery.

Pat the salted aubergines dry with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel and add to the saucepan.

Sweat until they are soft – this will take a bit of time – and then add the tomatoes and basil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes.

Add the vinegar, tomato puree and olives, check the seasoning, and cook for another 20 minutes before serving.