Caponata aka Veggie stew

My Godmother use to make something called Caponata as often as she made spaghetti sauce, which was pretty often. This a wonderful aromatic all vegetable stew. There are as many recipes for this as there is Italian  Nonna's. If you have a Italian Nonna or godmother, she's has a recipe she has perfected over time and handed down through a family. It is particularly popular with Sicilian and southern Italian families. This a healthy low calorie stew, that is eaten with meat as a side. My hubs loves it! This recipe makes a big pot, but like most Italian recipes its even better the next day.

1 lg eggplant
2 zucchini
1 red onion
1 fennel bulb
4 celery stalks
6 garlic cloves
1 butternut squash
2 bell peppers (red & yellow)
1/2 cup of tomato paste
a pinch of chilli flakes
1 tbs fresh thyme
1 tbs fresh rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup of raisins
2 tbs capers
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white wine (to reduce more calories omit wine and replace with water)
salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and cut into cubes the eggplant. Drizzle with olive oil place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30mins turning at 15mins. Warp garlic cloves in foil and place in the oven with eggplant.

Dice onions, fennel, zucchini, celery, bell peppers, saute in stock pot until clear. Add tomato past, salt and pepper. Dice up fresh thyme and rosemary and add with dried oregano and raisins. Peel the butternut squash cut into small cubes and add. Add water and wine and raisins, and stir well, allow to simmer until veggies are tender. Add a small pinch of chili pepper. This is not a hot dish, but a small pinch adds just the right amount of heat. Add the capers.

When eggplant is done, add to pot. The garlic should be soft enough to squeeze out of the casing into the pot. While the veggies are simmering toast pine the nuts for just a little crunch. Mix again well, add more salt and pepper to taste if needed and allow to simmer for 20mins on very low heat. If need be add a little more liquid it shouldn't too thick. 

Serve with pine nuts sprinkled over the top.

I wish I had a picture of this pretty stew, but hubs ate it all before I could take one. 

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