This recipe is inspired by the Italian dish and produces a rich and tasty stew. The addition of chickpeas brings protein to the dish and the use of blackstrap molasses means that sweetness comes with some nutritional benefits. This is a dish to be enjoyed by the whole family. The recipe serves 2 adults and a child.
Whilst the dish is made in 2 stages, it is still simple and worth the extra time.
- Olive oil
- 1 small aubergine, chopped up into small cubes
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1 can of tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can of chickpeas (or equivalent made from dried chickpeas)
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 large handful of green olives, chopped in half
- Using a good gulp of oil, fry the aubergine until browned and cooked through. You may need to do this over a relatively high heat and turn frequently. I did this in 2 batches, in a medium sized frying pan. Once cooked, put the aubergine aside.
- Using the same pan, fry the garlic in 1 tbsp oil for a couple of minutes. Do not let it brown. Add the celery and fry for a few more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, mix well and then leave to simmer for around 20 minutes. This should cook into a rich and thick sauce.
- In the meantime, mix the blackstrap molasses with the vinegar. Set aside so that the molasses dissolves in the vinegar.
- Once the tomato sauce has cooked down, add the chickpeas, aubergine and olives. Stir well and then add the vinegar and molasses mixture.
- Let the sauce simmer for a further 5 minutes so that everything is heated through and the flavours have time to develop.
- Serve with pasta, cous cous or anything else that you fancy alongside this beautiful stew.