This recipe is an adaptation of one in Cucina del Sole: A Celebration of Southern Italian Cooking by Nancy Harmon Jenkins (Morrow, 2007).
- 2 eggplants (about 2 lbs.), cut into 1⁄2" cubes
- 10 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 anchovy filet, chopped
- 3 ripe medium tomatoes (about 1 lb.), cored, peeled, and coarsely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste, preferably Maria Grammatico brand
- 2 tbsp. golden raisins
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts
- 2 tbsp. capers, rinsed
- 12 pitted green olives, such as cerignola, coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped basil
- 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Put eggplant into a colander set over a large bowl; toss with 1 tbsp. salt. Top with a plate weighted down with several large cans; let drain for 1 hour. Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the eggplant and cook until golden brown, 7–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a bowl. Repeat with oil and remaining eggplant.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining oil, onions, and anchovies; cook until soft, 14–15 minutes. Add tomatoes and celery and increase heat to medium; cook until tomatoes release their juices, 5–6 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, and tomato paste; cook until thickened, 3–4 minutes. Add cooked eggplant, raisins, pine nuts, capers, olives, roasted peppers, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until hot. Transfer to a plate; let cool slightly. Top with basil and parsley. Serve at room temperature.