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Author Notes: The translation from Italian is "vegetable stew". There is probably an official recipe for Giambotta on the web, however, growing up, this was a dish we made with whatever we had on hand (specifically veggies!). This is mainly a vegetarian dish but I believe in different regions of southern Italy, they will also include fish or meat. In my Italian family, we have always made ours primarily vegetarian. I remember my dad used to use leftover fried potatoes, green beans, and even frozen corn (he really loves corn)! This is my version which has ended up becoming more of a soup rather than the classic stew (if you prefer a stew, use less liquid). It is such a versatile dish so don't feel restricted by my ingredients. I concocted this while trying to clean out our fridge and freezer! It received two thumbs up in my house so I decided to write it down and share. —Becky Dolcetti Lewis
Serves 4 to 6
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 6 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small head of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 container of Pomi chopped tomatoes (26.46 ounces)
- 1 12-ounce package of frozen artichokes, tough parts removed and chopped
- 1 bundle of fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup of ancient grain mix (farro, barley, rice, etc.)
- 6 cups of water
- 3-4 tablespoons of a good pesto
- 1 15 ounce can of cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups of frozen whole leaf spinach
- Himalayan salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- grated Pecorino Romano, for serving
- crusty Italian bread, for serving
- In a Dutch oven, heat the oil on low to medium.
- Add your crushed red pepper and onions, saute until translucent.
- Add in your carrots and celery.
- Once the veggies get some nice color, add in your garlic, and saute for a minute (you don't want the garlic to brown).
- Next, add in your tomatoes and simmer until they are reduced by half (roughly 5 to 10 minutes).
- Toss in your artichokes, thyme bundle, grains, and stir so that everything is nicely coated.
- Add the water and the pesto.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Lower to a simmer, covered, for 30 minutes (or until the grains are cooked through).
- Add the beans, spinach, and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with some crusty Italian bread and a good sprinkle of Pecorino Romano! Enjoy!