Vegan Sicilian Caponata

This hearty dish captures the essence of the Sicilian summer. If strongly flavoured fresh tomatoes are available, use them. Otherwise, the flavour of canned plum tomatoes is preferable to hard, hothouse ones.

Serves: 4


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2tbsp salted capers
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped or 1 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 8 pitted green olives, halved
  • 1tsp sugar
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 225g spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
  • Olive oil, to toss spaghetti


  1. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch thick slices, then sprinkle with salt. Leave for 1 hour, then away juices with kitchen paper. Cut into large chunks after.
  2. Soak capers in water, drain after.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant chunks in batches over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until just golden all over but not cooked through. Add a little more oil, if required but do not overcook.
  4. Stir in onion, celery, garlic and oregano. Continue to cook about 5 minutes, until onion is soft and transparent.
  5. Pour in vinegar and cook, stirring until it has evaporated. 
  6. Add capers, parsley, tomatoes and olives.
  7. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Turn heat down, cover and cook for another 20 minutes until the eggplant is tender.
  8. Cook the spaghetti according to instructions on package. Toss in olive oil and serve with the caponata.
  9. Enjoy!