Spaghetti Alla Caponata

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Spaghetti Alla Caponata

Caponata is a Sicilian aubergine stew. It's fantastic turned into a spaghetti sauce, topped with salty, moreish olives.

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layout 1 comment


  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A handful of capers (optional)
  • A large handful of black olives
  • A 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 150g spaghetti
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • A handful of crushed almonds
  • 2 large handfuls of salad leaves

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 30-35 mins

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1. Fill a kettle and boil it. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Trim the stem from the top of the aubergine. Dice it into ½cm sized cubes.
2. Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion. Fry for about 5 mins. Stir now and then while it cooks till it's soft and glossy looking.
3. Add the aubergine and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Fry for 8-10 mins over a medium heat till the aubergine has picked up some colour. Stir fairly often so it doesn't stick and burn.
4. While the aubergine cooks, rinse the salt off the capers (if you're using). De-stone and halve the olives. Add them to the pan with the tinned tomatoes and half a can of water. Bring to the boil.
5. Turn the heat down. Simmer for around 10 mins till the caponata has thickened. Stir every so often while it cooks.
6. Fill a pan with hot water from the kettle. Add a pinch of salt. Add the spaghetti. Simmer for 8 mins till the spaghetti is cooked but not too soft. It should have a little chew to it. Rinse the parsley. Pat it dry. Roughly chop it.
7. Roughly chop or crush the almonds. Heat a dry frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the crushed almonds. Toast for 2 mins till golden brown. Shake the pan regularly to stop the almonds catching. Wash the salad. Dry in a salad spinner or with kitchen paper. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season.
8. Drain the spaghetti. Divide between two warm plates. Taste the caponata and adjust the seasoning if you think it needs it. Serve on top of the spaghetti with the almonds and parsley scattered over the top and the salad on the side.
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I tried this recipe this week and it was really delicious! Will totally be making this again although I found that I got 5 portions from this recipe but maybe I eat less than the chef that made it. I just froze the leftover sauce to eat another time... which is perfect for me as sometimes I like a night off from cooking!