Sicilian caponata: aubergines in a ‘puttanesca’ tomato sauce

Recipes & Nutrition

Author: Joan van HaaftenPublished: 9 February 2017

Parkinson's LifePrep: 30 minsParkinson's LifeCook: 15 minsParkinson's LifeServes: 4


A delicious lunch dish packed full of fibre and robust flavours. It’s ideal for people who are sensitive to protein and it’s soft making it easily digestible


2 aubergines (diced)
2 onions (coarsely chopped)
3 celery stalks (peeled and diced)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 plum tomatoes (finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (thin slices)
3 celery stalks (peeled and diced)
2 beefsteak tomatoes (diced)
1 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
12 black, pitted olives (coarsely chopped)
2 tbsp green herbs
2 tbsp jam sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tbsp small capers
1 tsp paprika
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper


Sicilian Caponata
1. Place the diced aubergine into salted cold water for 10 minutes.
2. Gently dry the diced aubergine.
3. Fry the aubergine with the onion in olive oil.
4. Add the garlic and the celery and braise for 3 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes, olives, capers and the sugar.
6. Deglaze with white wine vinegar.
7. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
8. Leave to cool and mix in the green herbs.

Putanesca sauce
1. Fry the onion and bell pepper in olive oil.
2. Add the tomatoes.
3. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.
4. Allow the ingredients to cook thoroughly.
5. Add water if the sauce becomes too thick.
6. Pass the sauce through a sieve and leave to cool

Culinary tip
The sauce tastes best when it’s nice and spicy. Garnish the caponata with pickled anchovies. This salad is also very suitable side for a barbecue.

Leftovers tip
Warm up the salad the following day for lunch or use as a side for a dish with lamb or chicken.

This dish is effectively an alternative ratatouille; you can experiment with adding or leaving out ingredients of your choice.

Nutritional information

– Rich in fibre, which means it’s suitable for people suffering from constipation
– This dish contains 1–5g of protein per person
– This dish is soft and easy to digest

If you’re interested in an edition in your own language, please contact: Joan van Haaften (author) email: Frits Poiesz (publisher) email:

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