This recipe is from my niece’s mother, the late Anne M. Staccioli. May her memory live on in this spectacular dish! It is quite time consuming but worth it.
2 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups olive oil, more or less
2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 cup tomato sauce, only DelMonte will do
3-4 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup capers
12 green olives, sliced
1 Tbsp. pine nuts
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Fry the eggplant in 1 cup of hot oil, remove from pan. Add the rest of the oil and fry the onions, gently. Add the tomato sauce and celery and cook until the celery is tender, keep stirring and add water if necessary. Add the capers, olives, pine nuts and eggplant. In a small saucepan heat the vinegar and sugar to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the eggplant, add salt and pepper. Simmer gently 20 minutes, stirring often.
Make 1 day ahead. Can be frozen.