Lunch Box :: “Il Ciabotto” – Healthy Italian Stew

Appetibilis Contributor Sara Scutti
Appetibilis Contributor Sara Scutti

Appetibilis meets Sara Scutti, an amateur cook and Abruzzo cuisine food enthusiast. For our first chat about food and recipes, Sara chooses the “ciabotto” (cha*botto) an easy, savoury, low-calories traditional recipe with local products. Who could ask for anything more?
Let Sara explain how she got the idea for this dish:

The “ciabotto”, (also “ciambotto”, or “cianfotta”, or…), is made of “humble” ingredients and it is a typical Abruzzo dish. It can be compared with Sicilian vegetable “caponata”, and it can be served either as a side dish or as a main course. In the old days the “ciabotto” was the main meal for farmers when working in the fields.

Ingredienti per il Ciabotto :: Verdura fresca di stagione

One summer evening I payed a visit at my father’s house , he was busy harvesting some tomatoes in his kitchen garden. It was almost dinner time and there you are, I had an idea! What about having something natural, fresh and healthy meal for my husband, who gorges on meat and pasta? My father had also picked some zucchini and eggplants so I thought about the ciabotto! On the way back home I stopped by the local grocer’s for some bread rolls and some sheep ricotta. I just added some fresh basil leaves from my balcony garden and some extra-virgin olive oil from my mother’s olive trees.

At the end of the dinner, my husband ate his “panino” to the very last crumble and said: “Well done, sweetheart! It was really delicious!”

Appetibilis Lunch Box :: Il Ciambotto abruzzese di Sara Scutti

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients(*)
– 1 large eggplant – diced
– 2 medium zucchini – diced
– 2 medium potatoes – diced
– 1 yellow pepper – diced
– ½ white onion – sliced
– 200g cherry tomatoes – diced
– 2 ladles of vegetable broth (or water)
– extra virgin olive oil
– fine sea salt

Ingredients for plating
– 4 bread rolls – “rosetta”- a rose-shaped panino. [GF – replace rolls for gluten-free diet]
– 150g fresh sheep (or cow) ricotta. [V – replace with soy ricotta for vegan diet]
– 2-3 basil leaves for each roll
extra-virgin olive oil: qs

Instructions:
Wash, clean and dice the vegetables (about 1cm thick). Slice the onion in large pieces.

In a non-stick frying pan soften the onion in some olive oil, then add the pepper and let it sizzle for 2-3 minutes at medium-low heat (pepper need to cook for a longer time).

Add eggplants, zucchini and potatoes. Then pour a ladle of hot broth, season with a pinch of sea salt and let it stew at low heat for 15-20 minutes. If the vegetables should dry out, add another ladle of broth.

5 minutes before cooking time ends, add the tomatoes. (Tomatoes can be replaced by four spoonfuls of tomato sauce). When cooking time is over, the vegetables should be soft but still hold their shape.

Display tips:
Cut each bread roll tops – rolls will be the container for the ciabotto – remove some inner crumbs. Be careful to leave 2cm on the bottom and on the sides.

Now fill the bread rolls with the “ciabotto” and garnish each roll with a sheep-ricotta quenelle (1 table spoonful = 1 quenelle), some fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of extra-virgil olive oil. (For an extra savoury touch, add some Parmigiano cheese shavings).

Put the bread roll tops alongside and serve immediately.

(*)”Ingredient weight/key”
1 large eggplant 400g ca.
1 medium zucchini 130g ca.
1 medium pepper 150g ca.
1 medium potato 150g ca.
1 onion 120g ca.

Read the original post in Italian: Il Ciabotto abruzzese di Sara Scutti

External links
Ciabotto Abruzzese via domenicacooks.com
Broth Basics via marthastewart.com
The Difference between Mince and Chop: The Cooking Dish

#PastryNotes :: “Bocconotti di Castelfrentano” A bit of Heaven

To put it bluntly, I don’t like cakes, sweets, pastries and so forth. If I needed a treat, I’d rather go for a slice of pizza, some “pane bruschettato” or some focaccia. But. (There’s always a “but” in a categorical statement as the one above).
I didn’t like sweets much until someone (may he be blessed a thousand times) introduced me to a pastry tart called bocconotto.

dd DSC_4965_bocconotto ©MateldaCodagnone
Classic Bocconotto di Castelfrentano – Plate: Abruzzo Creativo
photo: ©MateldaCodagnone; food styling: Orsola Ciriello Kogan

The name itself recalls a single morsel (“boccone”) of sheer delight. This tiny tart – no bigger than a mouthful – is typical of the Frentania, the area between the Sangro and Biferno rivers, but it is popular throughout the Abruzzo region. The village of Castelfrentano (Chieti) is the proud birthplace of bocconotto (or “castellino”) where almost every family has its own recipe for it – and, needless to say, each family says their bocconotto is the best you can have on Earth.

Basically, the bocconotto is a pastry tart filled with a mixture of dark chocolate, ground and toasted almonds, eggs and cinnamon plus some “secret” ingredients that any confectioners will never reveal, not even over their dead bodies.

The size of the bocconotto is “the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?

There’s no evidence that Oscar Wilde tried a “bocconotto”, but his words fit perfectly both for the cigarette and the tiny pastry. What more can one want? Maybe a second one, to be enjoyed after a sumptuous fish-based dinner on a trabocco. Want to know more about? Stay tuned. Some time soon I’ll take you on a trabocco.

#FoodStyling Notes :: Zucchine, Zucchini & Courgettes

Gallery: Zucchini, ingredients in season…

20150609-130840.jpg
Zucchini Quiche…
Recipe and Food Styling: Orsola Ciriello Kogan
Photo: Serena Eller :: Prop Styling: Cristina Gigli

| “I must have flowers, always, and always.” ~Claude Monet |

Delightfully yours,
OrsolaCK @ Appetibilis

Links: Quick and Tasty Zucchini Recipes via health.com

Rabbit Leftovers Polpette… Taste better than they look!

I love testing recipes, especially the ones that require slow cooking… Last week I tried to slow roast a whole rabbit, (a bit too much for a dinner for two). No specific recipe and I didn’t bother to write down what I’ve been using, (oops). I tend to work with what I have available at home, particularly those ingredients that risk to be on their way to the wastebin. (I always manage to find a lonely carrot or a single tomato…, but this is another recipe).

Chef all'opera... (un po' disordinate 'ste polpettine!)  Photo: OCKstyle
Chef all’opera… (un po’ disordinate ‘ste polpettine!) Photo: OCKstyle

Here I am with a lot of roasted rabbit, some beef-mince, half courgette, a chunk of stale bread and one egg. It’s “Polpette time!”, however the mix was a bit too soft for classic polpette, ergo I opted for a quenelle shape. And into the oven they went, 180C (about 370F), 15-20 minutes.

Delightfully yours,
Orsola CK @ Appetibilis

Inspiring source:
~ How to cook rabbit via greatbritishchefs.com
~ Oven Baking Temperatures Conversions via joyofbaking.com

Frittata di “Maccarunə Carrati”

Once upon a time, when the zero-waste attitude was an integral part of our living, there was “la frittata di maccheroni”. There are no particular recipes for this one-dish meal usually made out of leftover pasta with its sauce, beaten eggs and eventually  “aggarbato” with cheese (usually the grated crust of aged-old pecorino).

Notes: Aggarbato comes from the verb aggarbare and in neapolitan language it means to fix something. In this case aggarbato means “adjusted to achieve the tastiest result”

Here’s the Frittata di “Maccarunə Carrati” aka Spaghetti alla chitarra with asparagus and aged pecorino cheese.

Frittata di spaghetti alla chitarra
Frittata di Maccarunə Carrati… Photo: Lonza65

Delightfully yours,
Orsola CK @ Appetibilis

PS: #dilloinitaliano – della serie “non si butta niente”