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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Giambotta (Italian Summer Stew)

What I used in my Giambotta this time : )

Così buono!

Giambotta is every Italian Nonna's wonderfully yummy way to use up all the last bits of vegetables in the garden near the end of summer. Think of it as an Italian Ratatouille, only better : ) It's hearty, healthy, fun to cook, and can be made ahead in the crock pot which is actually ideal (unlike crockpot lasagna!) since this stew gets better the longer it cooks. Different regions of Italy have their own version and within those regions each Nonna has her own recipe. Some versions have meat like sausage in the north or beef chunks in the south but usually Giambotta is a vegetable stew eaten for the sheer pleasure of enjoying nature's bounty with some bread to soak up the broth, a good sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano, and a good washing down with a glass of chilled white wine....così buono!
Vegetables: eggplant, zucchini, small potatoes, fresh corn, snap peas, tomatoes, you be the judge, after all,  this is an Italian recipe not French  ; ) but I bold printed my must haves : )
1 large onion chopped
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1 cup white wine
olive oil
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes
dried oregano
fresh basil leaves torn (a good handful)
a little water
Parmigiano Reggiano for serving and some bread for soaking up the broth!
Cut everything to a good spoon size, small enough to fit on a spoon : )
Coat the entire bottom of the pot with oil and saute onion until soft then garlic until soft not brown adding salt.
Add the tomatoes and some more salt as well as the oregano and cook until soft and almost saucy.
Add the wine and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now cook the vegetables: First I add the potatoes and some water cover and cook until soft, about 18 minutes.
Then  add the rest of the vegetables as well as the basil, red pepper flakes, and more salt, stew with the lid on until it is all soft and juicy, add more water if needed but not too much as this is a stew not soup. If it is too liquidy cook with the lid off for a little while. Cook for at least 30 minutes at a nice medium simmer but longer is better that's why a crock pot works great for this recipe!
Now taste for salt and add pepper.
Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano, red pepper flakes, and bread, don't forget the chilled wine and Buon Appetito!

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