Caponata with Mozzarella | Sicilian Aubergine Ratatouille

Caponata with Mozzarella
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A Sicilian ratatouille with aubergine, peppers, salty capers and sweet sultanas topped with melting strings of cheese! Served on fluffy couscous, this is one of those meals that we keep coming back to. A flavoursome vegetarian dish that’s packed with vegetables, our Caponata with Mozzarella is an adored weekday dinner recipe of ours!

Caponata is cooked in agrodolce sauce. Agrodolce means sweet and sour in Italian. With capers and lemon providing the sour and sultanas and honey bringing the sweet, this tomato sauce is full of flavour.

In my opinion, aubergine is highly underrated. Yes, sure, on its own it can be bland and slimy if overcooked, but as soon as you put it with other ingredients, it is an amazing vegetable to use in vegetarian dishes. This time, we are using aubergine in a delicious Italian-inspired vegetable ratatouille.


Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Cut your aubergine into rough cubes. Then deseed and slice a pepper. Peel your red onion and cut into eight wedges.

Spread the aubergines, peppers and onions in a single layer on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Then put in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. The vegetables should soften and start to brown slightly.

In the meantime, finely slice your garlic cloves. Weight out sultanas and capers. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for a minute until fragrant. Then add sultanas, capers, a tsp of honey and red wine. If you don’t have any red wine, substitute with 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Stir for 30 seconds, then tip in chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off and set aside.

Drain your mozzarella ball and tear it up into 8 pieces. Strip the basil leaves off the stalks (reserve the prettiest leaves for presentation). If you want to make it vegan, it works very well with vegan cream cheese dotted around the caponata at the last minute!

When the vegetables are cooked, add them to the tomato sauce, stir to coat and turn the heat on to medium-high. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Caponata with Mozzarella

In the meantime, boil a kettle of water. Add couscous to a bowl, crumble in a stock cube. Add boiling water and cover with a plate. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. If you wish to make the meal gluten-free, make some quinoa instead. But note that quinoa takes longer to cook.

Stir the basil into the tomato sauce, then place the mozzarella pieces on top and cover with a lid for a minute for the cheese to melt.

Fluff the couscous up with a fork, divide between two bowls. Top with caponata with mozzarella and some reserved basil on top. Perfect served with a glass of red wine.

Caponata with Mozzarella

Caponata with Mozzarella | Sicilian Aubergine Ratatouille

A Sicilian ratatouille with aubergine, peppers, salty capers and sweet sultanas topped with melting strings of cheese! Served on fluffy couscous, this is one of those meals that we keep coming back to. A flavoursome vegetarian dish that's packed with vegetables, our Caponata with Mozzarella is an adored weekday dinner recipe of ours!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Sicilian
Servings 2 portions

Ingredients
  

  • 1 aubergine cubed
  • 1 pepper deseeded and sliced
  • 1 large red onion cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • 20 g capers
  • 40 g sultanas
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 50 ml red wine or 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 125 g mozzarella ball
  • 10 g basil
  • 150 g couscous
  • ½ vegetable stock cube
  • 225 ml hot water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Spread the aubergiens, peppers and onions in a single layer on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Then put in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. The vegetables should soften and start to brown slightly.
  • In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Then add sultanas, capers, a tsp of honey and red wine. Stir for 30 seconds, then tip in chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off and set aside.
  • Drain your mozzarella ball and tear it up into 8 pieces. Strip the basil leaves off the stalks (reserve the pritiest leaves for presentation).
  • When the vegetables are cooked, add them to the tomato sauce, stir to coat and turn the heat on to medium-high. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime, boil a kettle of water. Add couscous to a bowl, crumble in a stock cube. Add boiling water and cover with a plate. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  • Stir the basil into the tomato sauce, then add mozzarella and cover with a lid for a minute for the cheese to melt.
  • Fluff the couscous up with a fork, divide between two bowls. Top with caponata with melting mozzarella and some reserved basil on top.
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Caponata with mozzarella

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