Caponata (version XXII)

6 tablespoon olive oil
2 large eggplant, cut 1 inch thick
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2-1/2 cup canned tomatoes, drained and
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 tablespoon pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

In a skillet, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and sauté until soft and browned (around 10 minutes). Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sweet red pepper. Sauté until soft (around 5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the tomato, vinegar, browned eggplant, and sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 25 minutes. Taste and add more vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper as needed. Sir in the pine nuts and basil. Simmer until heated through.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving, or cool, cover, and refrigerator for as long as two weeks.

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