Well, well, well exams are finally out the way for another semester and I can get back to cooking properly again! For the past few weeks my kitchen activity has mainly consisted of making a big pot of something at the start of the week (usually bolognese) and the freezing it in batches to be reheated throughout the week with some pasta or toast. Safe to say bolognese got pretty boring.
Come the end of my last exam I was itching to get back in the kitchen and try a new recipe.
One thing I’ve been wanting to try for a while now is a take on the Caponata with Butternut Squash ravioli that I’d had at the Edinburgh Foodie Festival last summer.
My wonderful mum came up last weekend and brought along some Pumpkin Ravioli. What a great opportunity to try out Caponata!
It’s a rather odd recipe for me because it contains so many things that I actually don’t think I like such as aubergine, capers and butternut squash.
However, the combination is just fantastic!
It’s got the salty taste from the olives and capers, the sharp sour taste from the red wine vinegar, the sweet taste from the sugar and peppers. Finally the aubergine and tomato provides an excellent base for these flavours to come together. The sweet filling of the butternut squash contrasts brilliantly with this savoury, tangy sauce. It’s actually very similar to ratatouille and can be enjoyed warm or cold; as a sauce or with cold meats and cheese as antipasto.
We improvised this recipe from a number of online sources as well as what we could remember from the festival.
The recipe given is to serve 2 people but can be doubled up to serve 4 etc or make more to save for later.
- 1/2 an Aubergine, diced
- 1/2 an Onion, diced
- 1 clove of Garlic, finely chopped
- Half a Red Pepper, diced
- Handful of pitted Green Olives, halved
- 1/2 a can (400g) of chopped Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp of Capers
- 2 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
- 3 tsp of Sugar or to your taste
- 2 tsp or dried Parsley or a small handful if you have fresh
Fry the aubergine in olive oil until it begins to brown, about 5-8 minutes, then transfer to kitchen towel to drain.
Fry the onions for 3-4 minutes until they are beginning to golden then add the peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and aubergine and cook for 2 minutes.
Next, add the tomatoes and capers to the pan and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes.
After 10 minutes stir in the parsley, red wine vinegar and sugar until dissolved, allow this to be absorbed, usually 5 minutes and then taste to decide if you need more sugar or vinegar.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly before serving as it should be served warm rather than hot.
Serve with butternut squash or pumpkin ravioli and garnish with rocket.