Giambotta is a Southern Italian vegetable stew usually made in late summer and takes advantage of whatever vegetables are available. It’s pronounced “jamm-baught.” Everyone makes it a little differently and you can vary the recipe based on what vegetables are ripe.
As I said, everyone makes it differently and my family’s recipe is more different than most. My Aunt Vicki’s mother brought her family’s recipe from Italy in the early 1900s. That version was a little fancier. In addition to the vegetables she’d add some bite-sized, cubed pieces of mortadella. Back then mortadella wasn’t so easy to find in America but frankfurters were, so she used them instead. If you think about it, they’re not so very different. My family still makes it the same way. It may seem like a strange combination of ingredients but to me it’s comfort food.
Lightly brown the potatoes in oil in a pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients. Remove the potatoes. Add the onions and cook until soft and transparent but not brown. Add the pepper slices and cook until soft. Add the zucchini and frankfurters and stir and simmer for a few minutes.
Then the tomato puree and basil – you might have to add some water if it’s too thick. Return the potatoes, taste for seasoning and simmer covered on low for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Serve it then and it’s even better left-over.
Click here for updated GALLERY II
Robert Iulo –Writing Site and Yelp
When my grandmother’s family arrived in New York in the early 1900s, some of them couldn’t get used city living like she did.They were southern Italian farmers and felt more comfortable living in “upstate” rural areas. They farmed and often hunted. When visiting my grandparents they’d bring Concord grapes, apples and sometimes venison. My grandmother came up with this recipe. It originally contained deer heart but I substitute chicken hearts. (A heart isn’t like other organs. It’s a muscle just like a steak or chop.)
- Sear strips of seasoned venison in a very hot pan (no oil) and remove.
- Do the same with the chicken hearts
- Cut unpeeled fingerling or Yukon Gold potatoes in ½ in. slices. Add oil and lightly brown enough slices in same pan to cover the bottom of the pan, S&P and remove.
- Fry the green pepper until soft and lightly browned in a deep pot
- Add 1 small roughly chopped onion to the pepper and sauté in the same pot
- Clear a hot spot and add 1/2 small can (3 ozs.) of tomato paste and caramelize then mix with peppers & onions.
- Use some stock to deglaze the pan and pour liquid into the pot. Add about 1/2 of the remaining beef stock to the pot and add the bay leaves. You won’t need all of the stock.
- Add meat and potatoes to the pot, stir and simmer on low, covered for 10 minutes.
- Add more stock if necessary to get a stew like constancy.
Click here for updated GALLERY