The spanish ” caonada” is the source of the word caponata. It’s derived from the name “capone”, which means “capone” in Sicilian. This was a rare fish that was once only available to the aristocracy and seasoned with the bittersweet sauce tipic de la caponata. People who couldn’t afford the expensive fish used the less expensive aubergines.

4 Person


  • 1kg of aubergines

  • 200g white olives with no nuts

  • 500g red tomatoes

  • 400g celery (only stems).

  • 50g capers with salt

  • 60g pine nuts

  • 2 white onions

  • 50g sugar

  • 50g white vinegar

  • one small amount of large salt

  • 300g of seed oil

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • To remove the bitter taste, cut the aubergines in cubes and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let them rest in a colander for at most one hour.
  • Cut the celery into small cubes and place it in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water. Let it simmer for five minutes. Place the celery on a cotton towel after draining.
  • Fry the chopped onions in a little oil. Add the capers, olives, and pine nuts to the pan and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Make the tomato mixture by cutting it into small pieces and cooking in the pan along with the onion for 20 mins.
  • Saute celery in a saucepan with a little extra virgin oil
  • Drain the eggplant and dry them. Then, fry them in 300g vegetable oil. Once fried, add them to the mixture. Finally, add the vinegar and sugar.
  • Allow it to cool, then turn off the heat and serve the caponata garnished with basil.
  • The palermitan caonata version is the simplest.

    There are many other variations available, such as those of Trapani, Catania and Catania.

    The Agrigento version includes the following: honey, garlic, Cayenne peppers, Cayenne peppers, pine nuts, almonds, and dry raisins

    Catania includes yellow and red bell peppers in its caponata. You can also find potatoes and garlic in some local variations.

    Messina has a different recipe than Palermo because it uses peeled tomatoes instead of sauce.

    Trapani version also contains peppers, vinegar, and toasted almonds.