The traditional southern Italian ciambotta contains eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes and sometimes bell peppers. Erica De Mane has substituted sweet corn, little red new potatoes and spring squash for an American accent. The resulting dish is not as moist as a stew, but it's just as delicious.
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6 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds red new potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 pound small zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch dice
2 cups fresh corn kernels
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ripe plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspon thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large nonreactive skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the potatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and just tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 minute; transfer to the baking dish.
Heat 2 more tablespoons of the oil in the skillet. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to the baking dish. Add the corn and garlic to the skillet and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; transfer to the baking dish. Add the tomatoes, basil and thyme to the baking dish, season with salt and pepper and toss gently.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the bread crumbs and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly toasted. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the vegetables and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until hot. Serve immediately.
Rustic and hearty, this vegetable medley needs an assertive white, such as a Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Look for San Quirico or Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di Tufi.
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