A Ciambotta is a very flavorful Italian vegetable stew that actually tastes best the next day when the vegetables have soaked up all the flavors. Serve warm or cold with crispy fresh bread.
Italian Ciambotta (Vegetable Stew)
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- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 small eggplant, washed and cubed
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes (or 1 lp fresh tomatoes, pulsed in a blender)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 6 small red onions, washed and cubed
- 2 zucchini, washed and cubed
- 2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1/2 "slices
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- Place eggplant pieces in a colander, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of salt and let rest for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- In a food processor mix garlic, basil, oregano, 1 tbsp olive oil and pepper flakes. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy pot. Add eggplant, onion, and potatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, until eggplant browns, about 2 minutes.
- Push vegetables to sides of pot and add 1 tablespoon of oil and tomato paste to clearing. Cook paste, stirring frequently, until brown fond develops, about 2 minutes.
- Add 2 cups water and chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and gently simmer until eggplant is completely broken down and potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, bell peppers, and ½ tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Push vegetables to sides to skillet. Add herb mixture to the center and cook for about 1 minute.
- Mix well with the vegetables and transfer to the pot. Mix well and stir in basil. Season with salt to taste and serve.