Nonna Rosina’s Ciambotta
A Southern Italian Stew with Potato, Zucchini Stew & Poached Eggs
Our version of this classic peasant dish from the province of Potenza in southern Italy where my mother’s side of the family is from. 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
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. 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.
- 1 Large, high-sided skillet with lid or similar
- 4 medium Idaho potatoes cut into big chunks, about 1.5” cubes
- 2 small zucchini cut into 1/2” chunks
- 1 Small onion Diced, large
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 2 peeled tomatoes from can, chopped or use 2-3 tbsp tomato purée
- Pinch hot pepper flakes optional
- 1 ½ Tbsp salt or to taste
- 4 Large eggs
- Step 1 | In a large high-sided skillet, warm olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and let cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.Add chopped tomatoes. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are simmering, cut potatoes into large chunks.
- Step 2 | Add potatoes to pot and enough water to just cover them. Add salt to the water and bring to a boil. Then lower heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes start to break down and are fork tender.
- 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.If mixture is too thick, add a little water.
- Step 4 | Poached Eggs: Using a wooden spoon, create little wells where you want your eggs to poach. The eggs shouldn’t be too close together.Crack the egg shell and lower the egg gently into its little well. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cover the pot with the lid and allow to cook, simmering until the white part is set and the yolk remains runny or jammy. Do not jostle or stir pot while eggs are poaching.
- Serve with toasted country-style Italian bread and enjoy!