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Caponata alla siciliana, the flavors of the ancient Trinacria

Friday 10 august 2018

It 's a regional specialty, but there are many variations, almost as many places that dot the island. A specialty that cheers the table and that as an appetizer also becomes a side dish or, together with pasta, a unique tasty and delicious dish

Caponata alla siciliana, the flavors of the ancient Trinacria

It proudly bears the banner of his tradition, which has long seen it as a protagonist among the delicacies of Sicily. It has the merit of delicacy and was once prepared with fish, from which it seems to derive its name, or from "capone", fish from fine meat - today called lambuga - seasoned with sweet and sour sauce. Another hypothesis, however, sees the etymology attributable to "caupone", a term that indicates the taverns of the sailors, who used to stop in these places of refreshment. And it's not over here. Other theses argue that it could derive from the Latin noun "caupona" - taverna - and from the adjective "cauponia", with the meaning of "taverna food". In short, if the variations of Sicilian caponata are innumerable, so are the origins of its name and also of its history. Replaced the fish with aubergines, here is nowadays this colorful and tasty dish.


  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • half red pepper
  • half yellow pepper
  • half green pepper
  • 1 celery coast
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 1 onion
  • 60 grams of black olives
  • 20 grams of raisins
  • 20 grams of pine nuts
  • 20 grams of capers in salt
  • White wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • salt as required


Cut the aubergine into cubes - leave the peel, the caponata will be more tasty - sprinkle with salt and let it drain over a sieve for an hour to lose the bitterness of the aftertaste. Now take the tomatoes, remove the seeds and cut them into cubes, then clean the peppers - removing the seeds and the internal ribs - cut into squares, then wash the celery and slice it. Put the extra-virgin olive oil in a pan and, once boiling, submerge the aubergine cubes which should turn into a beautiful golden color. With a ladle take the cubes and place them on a plate with absorbent paper to remove excess grease. In a pan put the sliced ​​onion into rings and brown for a couple of minutes in the oil, then add the peppers and cook for a few minutes, then add the capers - previously desalted under running water -, the tomato cubes, l 'raisins made to warm for ten minutes in warm water, olives and pine nuts. Stir well, cook for about 15 minutes and, at the end, add the aubergines and cook for another five minutes. At this point you can add the vinegar and sugar and cook everything over low heat for five or six minutes, letting the vinegar evaporate completely. Salt can be put at the end of cooking. Let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour and serve at room temperature. To allow the flavors to blend well together, you can prepare the caponata even the day before serving it on the table. 


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