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


  • Degorge the aubergine by placing the cubes in a colander and sprinkling with salt.
  • Leave for 30 minutes to allow the bitter juices to drain, then rinse the aubergine and pat dry.
  • 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.
  • Heat a pan with oil. Sauté the onions and celery on a low heat for 7–10 minutes, until they begin to colour.
  • 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.
  • Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Allow to cool and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. Serve at room temperature with crusty bread.