Chef Heide Lang of Fig Cooking School in Milford makes a light and springy eggplant caponata.
· 2 1 ½ pounds eggplant, cut into one inch cubes (about 3 medium eggplants)
· 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus salt for seasoning
· 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
· 1 large red or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
· 5 cloves of garlic finely minced
· 1 pound ripe tomatoes, preferably Roma, coarsely chopped,)
· 2-3 tablespoons capers rinsed.
· 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
· 1-2 teaspoons anchovy paste
· ¼-1/2 cup water
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 1 pound bucatini
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place eggplant on a parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt for 30 minutes.
3. Wash eggplants off in colander and pat dry.
4. Toss the eggplant with 6 tablespoons olive oil for and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the eggplants over and roast for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until the onions are caramelized.
6. Add the garlic and cook over medium heat for about a minute, just until the garlic is beginning to brown.
7. Add the tomatoes and capers. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for a five 5 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit.
8. Add basil, anchovy paste, eggplant, and ¼ cup water to the onion/tomato mixture. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer covered for 15 minutes until the eggplant is tender, and the mixture is thick and fragrant. (you may have to add an additional ¼ cup of water if the mixture is too dry).
9. Let camponata come to room temperature and serve over pasta or as a bruschetta on crusty Italian bread.