I just got back from a work conference in Columbus, OH. It was my company’s conference, so I was working the entire time. It was a crazy 4 days, but now I’m back home and back to the grind. Before I left for the conference, I decided to make a hearty, Italian stew called Ciambotta (chom-bow-tah). Ciambotta is the name of an Italian stew that is made up of a medley of vegetables and/or meat or seafood. When I was growing up, my mom used to make this dish all the time. Sometimes she would make little meatballs and add those to the ciambotta instead of the sausages. Italian Americans like to use the term to refer to anything that is a mish-mash or jumbled together. This recipe is easy to make and gives you the freedom to add whatever vegetables and/or protein you desire. This dish is also great because it makes enough leftovers for lunch!
- 4 Italian sausage links (mild or hot)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/2 lb green beans, cleaned and halved
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
- 1 can cannellini beans (14 oz.)
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 cup chicken stock (or water)
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- salt & pepper to season
- In a saute pan over medium heat, cook sausages until browned in middle and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and sweet potato. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the string beans, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans,*cooked lentils, chicken stock, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper and simmer on low until the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Cut the sausages into small bites and add to the stew. Simmer on low for another 5 minutes.
- Serve stew warm with fresh bread.
* Lentil Directions:
- Soak dried lentils according to package directions.
- Drain lentils, place in a sauce pan, and cover with water.
- Bring water to a boil for 2 minutes.
- Lower heat and simmer until lentils are tender.