Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tour of Italy ~ Day 9 ... Basking in Basilicata

       Right above Calabria is Basilicata, also known as Lucania, and in Italy the locals usually don't refer to one without referring to the other. Basilicata is know also for it's mountain areas and it's spice for peppers, but unlike Calabria, it is more commonly know for it's decedents from the Oscan and Samnite tribes and is most famous for Luganega, which is a peperoncino-spiked pork sausage. Also Olives and wines are also commonly found in this region. 
      Today we wanted something easy to make, travels well and we could take it with us to enjoy at the beach. The recipe we are featuring today is...

Luganega Caponata

 For the caponata

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked  peperoncino-spiked pork sausage
  •  1/4 cup chopped peperoni 
  • 1-1/2 cups 1/4-inch dice unpeeled eggplant (about 1-1/4 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped dates
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts,
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 half lime juiced.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leafed parsley leaves
  • 12 slices of warm  country-style Italian bread

Make the caponata: In a heavy skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat until it hot but not smoking, in it cook the sausage and peperoni, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it is tender, and transfer it to a bowl. To the skillet add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and in it cook the eggplant, the onion and the celery over moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through and the celery is tender, add meat mixture, cook stirring for 2 minutes and transfer it to the bowl. Stir in the parsley, let the caponata cool, and chill it, covered,overnight. Season the caponata with salt and pepper. Serve on warm bread.

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