5 tablespoons olive oil
12 fresh artichoke hearts (see page 14 for cleaning instructions), cut into 1 ich dice of 2 (9 ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts, cut into 1 inch dice
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup finely diced celery, parboiled for 2 minutes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup drained capers
4 ounces pitted Greek or Sicilian black olives, halved
2 cups Tomato Sauce (see page 225)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Caponata Di Carciofi
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan set on medium-high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the artichokes anc cook until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the artichokes to a bowl, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining oil and the onion, stir until well coated and cook for 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, red pepper flakes, capers and olives and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and basil. Heat until the sauce is bubbling anc cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the cocoa poweder and cooked artichokes until well mixed and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
In a small saucepan on high heat, boil the vinegar and sugar until reduced by half and quite syrupy, about 2 minutes. Stir into the cooked vegetables, mix well and simmer on very low heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.
This dish also makes a wonderful sppetizer spread to serve on garlic toast. Coarsely chop the artichokes instead of cubing.