Misto di Ortaggi Stufati - Canazzu
Canazzu is a spring and summer vegetable dish, very popular for the
easiness of the preparation and availability of ingredients. The main ingredients are eggplants, potatoes,
peppers, onions, peeled tomatoes, olive oil and parsley. After all ingredients are washed and prepped, place in
a pan and sauté to coat, cooking for a few minutes. Then season with salt and black peppers and continue cooking
covered for a total of 30 minutes. It is a vegetarian’s delight!
“canazzu” or “canazzo”
literally mean “big and ugly dog”—because, most likely, as they move about, these large dogs would collide and
knock down furniture and anything in their way; the big mess created would have given them the nickname
canazzo, which was thereafter categorized with the word “chaotic,” in
Sicilian ”a comu egghe.”
canazzu is an unruly mixture of various vegetables, whatever happens
to be available at imprecise quantities. Eggplants are the only necessary ingredients.
following recipe shows the classic proportion and the traditional ingredients, but feel free to modify it and to
follow your preferences.
We also will present a variation of this recipe, as cooked at Joe’s
of Avenue “U”, our family’s Sicilian Food Specialties restaurant. It utilizes the same ingredients but uses a
process which is more suitable to serving a large gathering; it allows you to do all the preparations in
canazzo as a side dish with fish or meat, or as a main dish along
with a salad and fresh Italian bread, to make a complete dinner.
tablespoons olive oil
medium size onions, cut into ½-inch strips
· 1 cup
peeled tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
· 2 lb
potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch elongated olive shapes
· 3 sweet
peppers, various colors; washed, pitted and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
eggplants, washed and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks with skin on
and black pepper
up the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add each vegetable individually, sautéing for 5 minutes
and stirring occasionally before adding the next (in the following order): onions, tomatoes, potatoes,
Finally, stir in the eggplants, add salt and black pepper and turn
gently to blend all the ingredients.
the canazzo tightly and simmer it until the potatoes are done, 20 to
in a serving dish, garnish with parsley and serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
Joe’s, the Focacceria Palermitana on Avenue “U”, we prepared this dish using the same ingredients. However, we
sautéed the various vegetables separately, assembled the canazzo in
layers and baked for a few minutes when ready to serve it. For this preparation, extra oil is
potatoes should be blanched in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, transferred into cold water to stop the
cooking process and set on the side in a colander to drain.
sauté pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and, after 5 minutes, add the
tomatoes and ½ cup of water. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring
occasionally; set on the side.
large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat; add the peppers and sauté for 5 minutes.
Lightly sprinkle with salt and continue cooking until the peppers are slightly tender but al dente. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers to a baking tray lined
with paper towels, lightly sprinkle with salt, and set on the side.
the leftover oil to sauté the potatoes.
tablespoons of olive oil to the leftover oil and warm it over medium heat; add half of the potatoes and sauté,
turning them a few times, until they are lightly browned on all sides. Do not overcook! Use a slotted spoon to
transfer the potatoes to a baking tray lined with paper towels, lightly sprinkle with salt, and set on the side.
Proceed to fry the other half of the potatoes.
the leftover oil, addding more if needed, and sauté half of the eggplants in the same pan. Fry the eggplants
until they are lightly browned around the edges. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a baking tray lined with
Proceed to fry the other half of the eggplants.
baking dish, arrange in layers interspersed with the sauce. Start with a few spoons of sauce, then layer ½ the
potatoes, more sauce; ½ the peppers, sauce and ½ of the eggplants. Repeat until all ingredients are used
15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are done. If the canazzo was
stored in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature before baking.
lukewarm or at room temperature, garnished with parsley.