- Artichoke Caponata
- (Capunata 'i Cacuocciuli)
For the Tomato Sauce:
35-oz can Italian plum tomatoes, drained
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
For the Vegetables:
6 oz large green olives with pits (20)
2 lb baby artichokes, about 2 and 1/2 by 1 and 1/2 inches (20)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 celery ribs, halved crosswise
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
Prepare the Tomato Sauce:
Crush tomatoes in a bowl with your hand.
Cook garlic in olive oil in a 1 and 1/2-quart saucepan over low heat, turning occasionally, until pale golden, about 10 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, sugar, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer vigorously, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to a thick pulp, about 20 minutes.
Prepare the Vegetables:
Smash olives with a meat pounder or flat side of a large knife. Remove pits.
Soak olives 30 minutes in cold water, changing water every 10 minutes. Drain.
Juice 2 lemons into a large bowl half filled with cold water and add lemon halves.
Working with 1 artichoke at a time and running knife through remaining lemon before each cut, trim about an inch from tops and cut off stems.
Pull off tough outer leaves and quarter artichokes lengthwise.
Put them in lemon water as trimmed.
Drain artichokes well and pat dry.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, then saute artichokes, stirring, 2 minutes.
Add salt to taste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
While artichokes cook, blanch celery in boiling water 2 minutes and transfer with tongs to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.
Add celery, olives, and capers to artichokes.
Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot.
Stir in vinegar and cook 1 minute.
Add tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 5 minutes.
Serve at room temperature with a few grindings of black pepper. Serves 6.
Note: Caponata is best 1 day after it's made. It keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week.
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