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RECIPE: Ciambotta - a simple vegetable stew

Let's celebrate the vegetables of summer. Nature's perfection doesn't require much meddling, just a few glugs of good olive oil and a gentle, slow cook turns this into a flavourful stew to eat with bread or serve as a side dish. Ciambotta is a great dish for bumping up your veggie intake!



We’re taking all those summer vegetables, popping them into a pot and simmering them into a happy stew. Feel free to mix and match. If you don’t have yellow capsicum, use red. No red onion, use a brown one. No cherry tomatoes, use canned tomatoes. There’s nothing mysterious about this dish - what you see is what you get, and that’s what makes it so comforting. The addition of chilli adds some fun but if you’re not into spice, pop it aside. This makes a filling main for two or a side dish for four.

Serves 2 large | 40 minutes INGREDIENTS

  • 400g (2 large) potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ large red onion, sliced

  • 1 dried chilli, chopped

  • ½ large eggplant, cubed

  • 1 red capsicum, chopped

  • ½ yellow capsicum, chopped

  • 150g cherry tomatoes

  • 1 cup canned diced/crushed tomatoes

  • 1 large zucchini, chopped

  • 5 large basil leaves + extra to garnish

  • 1 teaspoon salt METHOD

  1. In a medium pot, parboil the potatoes for 5 minutes. Drain.

  2. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and chilli and cook for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat until the onion softens. Add the eggplant and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add a dash of water if it becomes too dry.

  3. Stir through the capsicum and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and parboiled potatoes and combine well. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

  4. Pour in the canned tomatoes, zucchini, basil and salt. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the sauce has reduced.

  5. Garnish with extra basil leaves before serving.


​Recipe from 'A Vegan Summer in Southern Italy' cookbook.

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