Neapolitan cianfotta recipe

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This is a loose, family-style recipe for a delicious summer vegetable stew; use what you have and what you like. Cianfotta means “tasty and colorful,” so keep it light and bright, without too many starchy vegetables. If you like capers, add a teaspoon or two along with the stock for a salty kick.

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges
  • Handful of fresh marjoram or oregano, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into ¾-inch/2 cm cubes
  • 4 medium zucchini, sliced into ¾-inch/2 cm rounds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1¾ cups/400 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 7 ounces/200 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 7 ounces/200 g sugar snap peas
  • 7 ounces/200 g snow peas
  • 3½ ounces/100 g frozen baby peas
  • 4 zucchini flowers (if available)
  • Pecorino cheese, for serving
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole and sauté the onion until softened. Add the celery, carrot, garlic, fennel, marjoram, and bay leaf, cover, and sweat for another 5 minutes. Then add the eggplant and zucchini, season, stir, cover, and transfer to the oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to release any stickiness from the pan base.
  2. Remove from the oven, add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Add the cherry tomatoes, sugar snaps, snow peas, and baby peas. Season to taste, bring back to a simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are just cooked. Serve in deep soup bowls, with a decorative shaving of pecorino (+25 calories per tablespoon).
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