Sicilian “Caponata”

This recipe takes quite long time, as all very good stuff do. But, you can keep it in your refrigerator for quite long. I remember when was a kid in my grandma kitchen, I used to hide under the table scared of her splattering oil. She had this tiny and old kitchen, and yet, she was sitting always there. She had other rooms of course, but as far as I can remember, she was always in that tiny steamy kitchen, always up to something, with some soap opera on her tiny old tv, always on. As a matter of fact, my grandma won’t know, but I too spend most of my day in my less small kitchen with music or youtube video or rai.replica on.

caponata

Time: 35 min – 2 hours preparation

Ingredients: for 4 portions

  • 3 aubergine
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 80 gr green olives (without pit)
  • 40 gr capers (much better the one with dry brining)
  • 30 gr pin nut
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 3 tomatoes (or a can chopped salsa tomatoes)
  • 100 ml white Italian vinegar (or apple vinegar)
  • 1 l frying oil (sunflower is better)
  • salt and pepper

1. First wash and dry with a kitchen towel your eggplants, cut them in cubes and put them on a strainer. Spread some salt on them and let them rest for at least 1 hour. You can also put an heavy pot upon them, in order to get rid of more bitter liquid. This method is always used to get rid of excess water during frying process. Otherwise they get mushy and not crispy.

2.While the eggplants take a nap, I usually get forward with the preparation of the other ingredient. a) I cut finely the onion b) wash capers and olive, cut them in small circles and leave some whole. c) wash and cut the red pepper and celery.

3. In an old pan bring the sunflower oil to right temperature( it takes usually 10-15 minutes or so medium heat).You know the right temperature, if you toss one cube of eggplant and immediately some small bubbles appear all around it. When they get some golden color, you get them out of oil and lay on some kitchen paper to absorb the excesses oil.

4. In another big pan put 3 tbs spoon olive oil and cook onions for 2 minutes.

5, Add a pressed clove garlic, red peppers, 80 gr green olives and celery. Add some salt and cook for 5 minutes. Then add 40 gr capers, 30 gr pine nuts and tomatoes without seeds or the one from a can without the preserving water, cook for other 4 minutes high temperature.

6. Add the fried eggplants, together with 100 ml white vinegar and one big tablespoon sugar. Cook for other 5-6 minutes medium temperature.

7. Now check, and eventually add, salt and pepper and let the whole thing cool down. It is usually served room temperature, better on some wholegrain bread.

and now I am so hungry… Buon appettito!

 

 

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My Sicilian Pesto ~ Recipe

sicilian_pestoAs you’ll read below I wrote a general name as “salty cheese”, because now that I live abroad, I know how hard is to find all Italian cheese, such us ‘ricotta salata‘ or ‘primosale” etc, so I simply adapted this recipe with any kind of salty cheese I am able to find. I tried with Feta, and it taste amazing!This recipe is inspired by the famous ‘pesto alla trapanese‘, but I changed it a little bit to my own taste. Trapani is a beautiful sea city in the west Sicily.

Easy and quick, with few ingredients.This is my favorite dressing of a quick pasta recipe ever! Yumm… In this picture I was using ‘spinach pasta’, but with a regular kind of pasta it is as tasty.

Note: You will need an electric chopper/blender.

Time:  7 minutes

Ingredients:  [ for 2 person]

  • 1 big tomato or
  • 50 gr any salty cheese ( better of course is with ‘ricotta salata‘..but also Feta is good)
  • 15 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper ( good amount)
  • pine nuts (20 gr ca.)
  • almonds (6 -7) ( you can skip them)

1. Just toss everything in the blender and push the bottom!

2.Keep always one glass of boiling water from your pasta and add it in the sauce in order to make it creamier.

Buon appetito!!!

 

Cauliflower with Sausages ~ Recipe

cauliflowerOne pan, full dinner :) This is another sicilian inspired recipe.  My father used to cook this also with pasta. You can try it or just serve it like this.

Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:  8 portions

  • 1 kg cauliflower ( oh yes.. this one was frozen!)
  • 5 sausages ( around 450 gr)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 40 gr pine nuts
  • some sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 black olives
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 saffron bag
  • pepper and salt

1. In a big pot, boil salted water. If you use fresh cauliflower, cut the leaves out and clean it. When you want the quick way, buy it frozen :D Cook until is quite tender. Drain it.

2. In a pan with with high edges, toss some olive oil. Let it frizzle.

3. Add the onion finely cut and 2 cloves garlic. With the help of a knife, cut the sausages casings away. Put the inside of sausages in the pan. Mush it with a wooden spoon. Add also pine nuts and let them roast.

4. Let the meat cook for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower cut in little pieces with 1 saffron bag, salt, and pepper.

5. Add black olives and sun-dried tomatoes cut in small pieces, cook other 5 minutes.

When it is cooked, and all cauliflowers got a nice yellow color, add fresh parsley.

Buon appetito!