I remember eating this at Carluicio’s restaurant in Bicester, and had to find out how it was made. Luckily, Antonio posted his recipe online, and this is my take on it. By the way if you hate celery, try this recipe and it will change your mind.
1kg Aubergines, topped, tailed and cubed
100ml Olive Oil
2 Onions, coarsely chopped
2 Celery hearts, coarsely chopped
400g Tomato pulp or Pasata
30g Pine nuts
200g Olives, pitted
10-15 Basil leaves
1 tbs Caster sugar
50ml White wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper
Preparation and cooking
Fry the aubergine cubes in olive oil until lightly browned, then set aside. In the same pan, add a little more oil and fry the celery and onions until softened, which will take approx. 10 minutes. Add the tomato pulp/pasata, pine nuts, capers and olives and fry gently for another 10-15 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper.
Now add the aubergines, and the basil leaves torn into a few pieces, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Finally add the sugar and wine vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes to allow the vinegar to evaporate. Serve with some more basil on top.
This should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.