Nonna Rosina’s Ciambotta; Potato and Zucchini Stew with Poached Egg

Photographed by Bianca Mormina;

Nonna Rosina’s Ciambotta

or Potato & Zucchini Stew with Poached egg

Ciambotta is a classic peasant dish from the province of Potenza in southern Italy. Growing up I loved to tear the thick crusty bread apart and dip it into the stew, breaking open the poached egg and letting the yolk run into the dish. – By Bianca Mormina

My Grandmother: Since our Nonna Rosina passed away, we find ourselves reminiscing about the delicious meals she used to make. Oh, how we took them for granted when she was alive, never imagining we would ever have to go without. When I was a kid, I would roll my eyes and scowl when a plate of ciambotta was placed in front of me. Nowadays, I would do anything to have that same exact dish, with that chunk of Italian bread, enjoying it along with my grandparents, aunt, parents and my little sister. Eating with them was our time of bonding, arguing, laughing and sorting things out. Meals and family used to be synonymous and I think that all of us should try to conserve that tradition. Everyone is so busy, off doing their own thing, staring at their phones, that we forgot how important and therapeutic a family meal with all members present can be.


Four medium size potatoes, cut into medium chunks
Two small zucchini
One small onion
3 tblsp. olive oil
One or two cloves of garlic
½ tsp. oregano
Two peeled tomatoes (from can), chopped
Pinch hot pepper flakes, optional
1 tblsp. salt (or to taste)
Four eggs

Serves four.

Step 1 | In a large pot warm olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and let cook for 2 minutes. Then add garlic and chopped tomatoes. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

While the tomatoes are simmering, cut potatoes into medium size pieces.

Step 2 | Add potatoes to pot and enough water to cover them by an inch. Add one level-tablespoon of salt to water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to low and let simmer for 1 hour.

Step 3 | Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Then cut into ½ inch pieces. Add chopped zucchini and oregano to pot and let cook for 15 minutes.

Step 4 | Poached Eggs: Gently slide cracked eggs into simmering pot one at a time keeping them apart. Let cook in Ciambotta until set (yolk should still be runny. White should be firm). Do not jostle or stir pot while eggs are poaching.

Serve crusty country bread. Enjoy!

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