Eggplant Caponata, a traditional dish of Catania

Today we speak of Eggplant Caponata a typical dish of Catania. Talking about Catania cuisine and talking about about a single dish of Catania may seem simplistic.
In fact, there are many beautiful and tasty recipes which fill the streets of this charming town on the coast of flavors and fragrances. A lot of them are the main Sicilian dishes. What are the best recipes of Catania? It is impossible to mention them all, just walk through the city streets to get lost among the scents from the various restaurants or even from the building where the housewives prepare their dishes.

The fish is definitely one of the main ingredients of the typical dishes of Catania, just remember the fried fish or pasta with squid ink. True delights that only the Sicilians, and especially those of the Ionian coast, know thoroughly. But to lord it in the traditional cuisine of Catania as the main dish of Catania is the Eggplant Caponata. A composition of fried vegetables seasoned with the flavors of Sicily. In short, if you decide to visit Sicily you’ll absolutely have to enter this typical Sicilian dish among the things to eat in Sicily.

The Eggplant Caponata, origins and history of a typical Sicilian dish

eggplant caponata
Pic by Luca Nebuloni via Flickr under CC license

Eggplant Caponata is typical dish of Catania, was born in the past by a poor cuisine, then it become in the time one of the most popular and famous Sicilian dishes in the world. The name seems to be linked to a fish, the gurnard called capone, which was part of the basic recipe. Eggplant Caponata was a kind of soup with gurnard, whose flesh has dry palate, so they used to present the dish with the addition of a mix of sweet and sour cooked vegetables to make the soup tastier.
This typical dish of Catania was born as one of the courses served to the lords of the past, and became a popular recipe.
When the Sicilian Eggplant Caponata became a dish of the people the fish was removed from the original recipe of Catania for economic reasons.

Traditional dish of Catania, the recipe for Eggplant Caponata

Let’s begin to describe the ingredients of Eggplant Caponata. This dish of Catania is mainly prepared during the summer season, using seasonal products, including the eggplant. Below, you can discover how to cook a traditional Sicilian Caponata of Catania.

Ingredients for the Eggplant Caponata of Catania:

  • Eggplant
  • Pepperoni
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Capers and sour
  • potatoes
  • Tomato

Obviously, these are the basic ingredients to prepare the Eggplant Caponata of Catania, doon’t forget extra-virgin olive oil for frying, salt to taste and chili, but the latter is just a variant. But in my opinion a pinch of chili gives more flavor.
Preparation is perhaps a bit long, but it’s very simple.
All vegetables should be washed, cut and placed in a pan with hot oil for frying.
Cook the eggplant apart, because these tend to absorb a lot of oil, so it is preferable that their initial cooking takes place separate from the other vegetables .
To make a good Eggplant Caponata of Catania, cut all vegetables into squares and proceed with the cooking, adding a pinch of salt.
When the eggplants and the vegetables cooked separately are ready, put them in one pan and add the tomato puree, it only takes half a glass.
To complete this typical dish of Catania cook and mix well. Capers will be added halfway through cooking. The Sicilian Eggplant Caponata releases an unforgettable scent, the enthusiastic taste for every palate.

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