Versatile Sicilian Caponata with Finnish blood sausages

Today I prepared Caponata (aka Capunata), a sweet and sour eggplant dish, which the generations of Sicilians have prepared due to its wonderful flavours, texture and versatility. I love to eat it warm and cold, as a main course with some bread, as a side-dish to meat/fish/seafood or as a pasta condiment. There are many variations of this dish: some add pine kernels, toasted almonds, raisins, others boiled and chopped carrots or fried green bell peppers. This is how I learned to prepare it in Palermo.

Cut 3-4 eggplants into 2 cm cubes and leave them soaking in salted water for at lest 30 minutes. Dry well with kitchen towel and shallow-fry the cubes in peanut oil (1 dl) and extra virgin olive oil (1 dl) until golden-brown, stirring every now and then.

 Transfer the aubergine cubes to a colander and sprinkle with salt.

Chop a few celery stems, including the leaves. Boil in salted water for 5 minutes, after which drain to colander, saving some of the cooking liquids (you might need to use this if caponata is too "dry"). Set aside.

Agrodolce (sweet and sour sauce): Saute 2-3 thinly sliced small red onions in extra virgin olive oil and peperoncino.

Then pour in passata di pomodoro (approx. 600 g), tomato paste (100 g) and some basil and keep simmering the sauce.
After 10 minutes or so add the drained celery, 2 table spoons of small capers, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 dl wine vinegar and pitted dark/green olives. Ideally one would use Sicilian spicy green pitted olives in oil, then additional peperoncino would not be necessary.
I grilled some typical Finnish blood sausage (literally black sausages) and grill sausages, which are not dissimilar to German bauernwurst.

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