Without any further ado, this is the recipe. Here it is for your convenience (Thanks Nags!)
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped in 1/2-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons currants
- 1 tablespoon hot chili flakes, plus extra for garnish
- 2 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (to yield 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/4 cup basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 sprigs mint, chopped
1. In a large 12 to 14-inch saute pan, over medium heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onions, pine nuts, currants and chili flakes and saute for 4 to 5 minutes until softened.
2. Add the eggplant, sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Add the thyme, tomato sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, garnish with mint and chili flakes. Serve the caponata spooned on crostini or in middle of table with crostini on side to allow guests to help themselves.Basic tomato sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
The changes I made to the recipe, apart making it for 2 people? Here you go:
1. More cocoa :P
2. Less tomato/tomato sauce and store-bought
3. Regular white vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar.
4. Used a regular white onion and not a Spanish onion
We ate it with some home-made bread, the recipe of which I may post later.
I thought this could very well serve as a great pasta sauce if thinned out with some more tomatoes or make it more liquidy with a little stock or pasta's starchy water. We initialy wanted to make a bruschetta of this and so the thick consistency! This is not an exotic recipe for all the hype in the name. Do try and let us know how it turned out!