Ciambotta (hearty vegetable stew)

NaurielR Posts: 429 Member
Guys,throw away your canned soup. This stew is good. I mean really, really good. Its thick, its savory, its full of vegetables, and its low cal. You can't ask for a better recipe.

Most of the calories from this recipe come from the olive oil used (about 1/3). Personally, I could use more healthy fat in my diet, but you can cut back on the oil if you want something even lower cal.



1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves
6 garlic cloves , minced
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

12 ounces eggplant , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion , chopped
1 pound russet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/4 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes , drained with juice reserved and chopped coarse
2 zucchini (8 ounces each), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 red or yellow bell peppers , stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup shredded fresh basil


1. FOR THE PESTATA: Process all ingredients in food processor until finely ground, about 1 minute, scraping sides as necessary. Set aside.

2. FOR THE STEW: Toss eggplant with 1½ teaspoons salt in bowl. Line surface of large plate with double layer of coffee filters and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Spread eggplant in even layer over coffee filters. Microwave eggplant, uncovered, until dry to touch and slightly shriveled, 8 to 12 minutes, tossing once halfway through to ensure that eggplant cooks evenly.

3. Heat 1 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add eggplant, onion, and potatoes; cook, stirring frequently, until eggplant browns and surface of potatoes becomes translucent, about 2 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of pot; add 1 tablespoon oil and tomato paste to clearing. Cook paste, stirring frequently, until brown fond develops on bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and chopped tomatoes and juice, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and gently simmer until eggplant is completely broken down and potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until smoking. Add zucchini, bell peppers, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of skillet; add pestata and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir pestata into vegetables and transfer vegetables to bowl. Add remaining ¼ cup water to skillet off heat, scraping up browned bits.

5. Remove pot from heat and stir reserved vegetables and water from skillet into vegetables in Dutch oven. Cover pot and let stand for 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Stir in basil and season with salt to taste; serve.

Serving size: 1 cup. Servings per recipe: about 10
Calories 145
Carbs: 22
Fat: 6
Protein: 3