Catherine Fulvio shares one of her favourite Italian festive treats


  • 2 medium aubergines, cut into 2cm cubes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks (trimmed and cut into 1.5cm pieces)
  • 500 ml tomato sauce
  • 65 g capers, rinsed
  • 50 ml white wine vinegar
  • sugar, to taste
  • 125 g green olives
  • crusty bread, to serve
  • 50 ml olive oil,
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 2 400g cans plum tomatoes, crushed
  • fresh basil leaves
  • sugar to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Degorge the aubergine by placing the cubes in a colander and sprinkling with salt.
  2. Leave for 30 minutes to allow the bitter juices to drain, then rinse the aubergine and pat dry.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a deep frying pan. Shallow fry the aubergines until they are soft and golden in colour. Drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Heat a pan with oil. Sauté the onions and celery on a low heat for 7–10 minutes, until they begin to colour.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, capers, vinegar and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the aubergine and olives and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Allow to cool and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. Serve at room temperature with crusty bread.



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