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Giambotta of Mixed Greens with Pork Spareribs

Anne Disrude, a former F&W associate test kitchen director, is one of the most talented cooks we know. In this Italian-style stew, all of the ingredients cook together at a gentle boil, yielding a rustic one-pot dish that is much more than the sum of its parts. Have the butcher cut the spareribs for you.

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  • Servings: 4 TO 6

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  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed (about 15 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 2 1/2 -pound slab of pork spareribs, sawed across the bones into thirds and trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 small rutabaga—peeled, cut into eighths and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 pint tiny white pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon (loosely packed) saffron threads, crushed
  • 3 pounds mixed greens, such as kale, escarole, Swiss chard, mustard or broccoli rabe, stemmed and coarsely shredded
  • 1 large sweet potato—peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 pounds spinach, stemmed and coarsely shredded


  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper; add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and mash to a paste. Rub the paste on the ribs. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight for a more garlicky flavor.
  2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the sliced rutabaga, pearl onions, water, vinegar, bay leaves and saffron with the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add half of the mixed greens, cover and cook over high heat until the greens wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining greens and cook, tossing, until wilted.
  3. Cut the ribs into 2- to 3-rib pieces and add them to the casserole. Cover and cook over moderately high heat, maintaining a slow boil and stirring occasionally, until the ribs and rutabaga are tender, about 1 hour.
  4. Scatter the sweet potato slices over the giambotta and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 1 minute. Serve hot.
Contributed By Published September 1998

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