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)
- Broil the eggplant in the oven until golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes per side.
- Heat the oil in a large pan.
- Add the onion, pine nuts, raisins and red pepper flakes and saute until the onions are translucent.
- Add the eggplant, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the thyme, marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve over cooked pasta or gluten free pasta and enjoy!
Roasted Eggplant Pasta