Caponata x 10 people

Caponata (Sicilian: capunata) is a Sicilian eggplant (aubergine) dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce.[1]

Numerous local variations of the ingredients exist with some versions adding olives, carrots and green bell peppers, and others adding potatoes, or pine nuts and raisins.

2 onions – roughly chopped

1 celery – chopped in large slices (include leaves )

1/2 kg   San marzano or Piccadilly tomatoes cuts into small cubes 

4 eggplants –  chopped in cubes of around 2cm diameter

5 peppers.-  chopped i squares of 2 cm diameter

100 g  of white olives chopped and deseeded

basil  just the leaves

salt

pepper

2 teaspoons of sugar

3 tables spoons of vinegar

20 g pine nutes

20 g raisins

handful of basil chopped

olive oil

peanut oil

Preparing the eggplants

Take most of the skin off with a peeler  and cut 3 of the aubergines into cubes of around 2-3 cms .

Add a generous amount of salt to all the eggplant and place in a drainer and let them drain for around 1.30 -2 hours  . (This will take all the bitterness out and water from the eggplant  , meaning they will absorb less fat ) .

Preparing the base of the Caponata

in a frying plan add a large lug of olive oil and add the onions and celery and gently fry , adding a few table spoons of water once and while so it stays nice and soft .  Add the tomatoes , capers and olives and slowing continue frying for around 5 minutes , then dd the sugar and vinegar and gently mix together . add pines nuts and raisins –  Turn off .

Fry the peppers in olive oil and all aubergines separately  in pan with a large quantity of hot peanut oil or sun flower .   gently fry until the aubergines are golden and soft and the peppers the same .

Once finished add the eggplants  and peppers to the caponata base and on a low heat stir and add the large handful or basil .

The caponata is done.

MACCHERONI ALLA NORMA x  4 people 

Tomato sauce see below ( see below )

Long thin metal skewers  .  called ferro, a metal spike . . However, a thin wooden skewer works as a substitute too.

1/2 kg  of semola flour

a lug of olive oil

250 ml of water

a large pinch salt

Preparing the pasta

On a clean surface add all the flour and add the pinch of salt .  With your hands create  a hole in the middle .

in the hole gently add the water and with your hand slow mix the flour into water . continue adding the water , until you get a nice firm dough. kneed the dough together , stretching it for about 10 minutes

now cover the dough and let it rest for minimum an hour .

Once the pasta has rested , we can start making the maccheroni .

Cut small pieces of the pasta dough  and place the skewer on top .

The trick, so to speak, is to apply enough pressure on the piece of dough so that it flattens and spreads around the ferro as you roll it, but not so much as to make it stick to the ferro. At the end of the process, you want to be able to slide the maccheroni from the ferro without misshaping it (if that happens, you can always re-roll the dough and try again).

It helps to flour the skewer often. I have two of them at hand: while I am using one, the other is inside the flour bag. When the first one becomes a bit sticky, I put it in the flour and take up the other.

Cook the maccheroni in salted boiling water for around 8 – 10 minutes

Sauce 

3 Egg plants – we used turco variety – diced in 2cm x 2cm – salted and left to drain for 1 hour . (Afterwards fried in sun flower or Peanut oil )

Grated Salted & baked oven ricotta ( we used a mixture of both )

sun flower or Peanut oil

To make your fresh tomato sauce 

2 shallot onions chopped in quarters

2 Tbs basil finely chopped

400 g of Piccadilly tomatoes – cut in half 

  • Place in a frying pan the tbs olive oil. onions, basil and start frying at low -medium heat for  10 minutes. 
  • Add the tomatoes and rock salt .
  • Cover your saucepan and leave for half 20-30 minutes on low / medium heat
  • Once the tomatoes are lovely and soft and not too watery , turn off the heat. 
  • Purify your sauce , using the emulix (food mill)  getting rid of the vegetables and skins, leaving just the tomato sauce.

Mix your tomato sauce with the fried aubergines .

 

 

Pork chops alla Cefalota – (truly one of the easiest recipes on earth – it can be done with any meat any fish you wish ) 

400 g fresh breadcrumbs

*100 g fresh grated parmesan (you can also use pecorino if you wish a stronger bolder flavour)  + Chopped basil – parsley & origano ( you can use any herbs you wish ) + a tiny pinch of Salt and pepper . Mix all together

enough 00 flour to dust your chops

4 -6 eggs beaten with add a handful of extra  grated parmesan cheese

 

Brush your chops into the flour – then egg and then into your breadcrumb mixture

we fried our chops in olive oil – 5 minutes – 8 minutes each side .