How to make ‘Stufato’ – a Puglian Summer Vegetable stew

This is great dish that is filled with a tonne of goodness and is so simple to make. Stufato – a Puglian summer vegetable stew, has many names and slightly different variations across the south of Italy. Ciambotta in Calabria and ciabotta in Abruzzo and many more. However, he base of the recipe is the same. Lovely diced vegetables cooked in a rich tomato potato stew which encompasses perfectly the mediterranean flavours found in the southern Italy.

I remember my Zia Teresa cooking us this dish during our summer holidays in Salento. This is one of my dads favourite dishes and he goes crazy for it, lapping it up and ending the meal with a ‘scarpetta’ (wiping the plate clean with a slice of bread). This dish is perfect to be be eaten as a side dish, maybe with pan fried fish or meat; or just perfect solo for all you vegetarian and vegan lovers.

Ingredients

    • Olive oil
    • 1 red onion, finely diced
    • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
    • 1 tin cherry tomatoes
    • 1 garlic clove, whole and peeled
    • 2 medium aubergine, diced
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 2 romano peppers, sliced
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Dry chilli flakes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Grated pecorino or parmesan (optional)

Directions

  1. Fry and soften the onion in a drizzle of olive oil on a low heat for 10 minutes
  2. Add the diced potato and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add 125ml of water, cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Next, add the tinned cherry tomatoes and pour in another 125ml of water. Cook and simmer the potato and tomato together for 30-40 minutes.
  5. While that is cooking, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the whole clove of peeled garlic and brown it gently. This will flavour the olive oil. Remove clove from pan.
  6. Then fry each of the vegetables, one at a time, until softened and brown. This should take about 30 minutes.
  7. When it has been 30-40 minutes since the potato and tomato have been cooking, add all the vegetables  and give it a good stir.
  8. Add the chopped fresh parsley and basil. Season with salt, pepper and chill flakes. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with more fresh herbs and grated pecorino or parmesan (optional).