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Remember the Caponata a few postings back?

Finished Caponata with a little fresh basil on top

Well I found a forgotten left over pint if it in the refrigerator so I tasted it, and although it was a tiny bit effervescent it was still really tasty. I happened to have a small package of beef short ribs in the freezer and decided to see if the Caponata combined with the ribs would make a really rich Bolognese. Boy did it!

Cooked in the pressure cooker, the short ribs took 45 minutes instead of 2½ hours.

Caponata/Short Ribs Bolognese
Serves 4

Caponata Bolognese over pasta. A close-up shows the pieces of caper and eggplant…great flavor twist for admittedly not so classic but delicious Bolognese.


2 tbs. olive oil
1.25# beef short ribs
1 medium size yellow onion, chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
¾ cup red wine
1 pint leftover Caponata
1 15oz. can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
A pinch of dehydrated red pepper flakes or ¼ tsp. Chinese Chili paste
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


  1. Heat oven to 275º.
  2. Heat oil in pan suitable for braising. When oil is just about to start smoking, add short ribs and brown on all sides. Remove meat and set aside. Add onions to the pan and cook until the onions are translucent, then add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Put the meat back into the pan, add wine, cover and bake in the oven for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. (If you use a pressure cooker, cook at medium high temperature for about 40 minutes.)
  3. Remove the meat but not the cooking juices from the pan. Set the meat aside to cool enough to handle. Then cut away the fat and discard, and cut or pull the meat apart with forks, and put it back into the cooking pan. Add Caponata, tomatoes, pepper flakes (or chili paste) and stir to blend. If it needs a little more liquid, add more wine. Cook at a low simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes to blend all the flavors. Taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley.
  4. To Serve: Ladle over cooked pasta, garnish with fresh grated or shaved Parmesan cheese and eat it all up.

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