Caponata on Penne

Not too long ago I came across this recipe for Caponata which was really interesting. The use of cocoa powder in a savory dish that also contained my favorite eggplant propelled this recipe to the top of my to try list. I had never had caopnata before. From what I understand it is usually eaten as an appetizer. I used the caponata in several main course types of meals.

I decided to broil the eggplant and cut back on the amount of oil. I didn't think that there was enough marinara sauce so I increased the amount of it in the recipe. The cocoa powder did not really play a prominent role in the caponata. Combined with the cinnamon, sugar and raisins the cocoa powder created a nice sweetness that did not overwhelm the other aspects of the dish. Of course the cinnamon gave the dish a great aroma. The balsamic vinegar added a nice tartness and the tomato sauce added great savoriness. The heat provided by the red pepper flakes were a really nice addition. Mint once again proves its versatility by complimenting the dish with a nice freshness. I enjoyed the caponata leftovers in a variety of ways.



  • 2 medium eggplant (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 leaves mint (chopped, for garnish)
  1. Broil the eggplant in the oven until golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes per side.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  3. Add the onion, pine nuts, raisins and red pepper flakes and saute until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the eggplant, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the thyme, marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve over cooked pasta or gluten free pasta and enjoy!
Similar Recipes:
Roasted Eggplant Pasta


zlamushka said...

You add cocoa powder to a savory dish ? Wow, that is somethign new... I mean why not, i ll give it a try :-)

Cara said...

Hey Kevin, I'm glad to see someone else make and enjoy the caponata. My friend Vanessa has been enjoying it as well; she added it to sauteed ground lamb and served with pasta and said it was delicious. It's certainly quite versatile!

Valli said...

Very creative dishes Kevin. You always come up with such interesting and tasty meals so I am not surprised!!!

Aimée said...

What an exciting and original dish! It looks like perfect fall food.

Janet said...

I've never had caponate either, in fact before I read this post, I'm not sure I knew what it was (although I've heard of it)

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Wow, eggplant, cocoa, cinnamon and pine nuts! I love all those things, it must taste wonderful... I'm going to save link to this page and try it some time soon.
Thank you for sharing!
Greetings, Margot

sher said...

Keep going, girl! I loved seeing all those different ways to use the caponata. Yum!!!!

sher said...

Well, never start leaving comments when it's after midnight and you're sleepy. I meant to say--You go Kev. Oh well, I better go to bed!!!

Ruth Daniels said...

I couldn't agree more with everyone else. Awesome dish - no surprise there! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

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