Cooking and Spirituality: Giambotta, Italian vegetable stew

By Lucia Ferrara

I excited about the recipe we are going to cook today. It’s and old-fashioned Italian recipe. It’s a pot of fresh vegetables taken right from your garden. I grew up on this, especially in the late summer and fall.

 The articles and videos in the Cooking and Spirituality Series can be found here.

This is one of the recipes that my grandmother and mother cooked: Giambotta, the Italian stew.

Preparing and cooking it – and eating it – always brings back a flood of memories.

My mother was from northern Italy. Growing up there, her family and neighbors all had gardens and they ate what was in the garden. She would tell me stories about how her mother would pick things from the garden in the morning and then cook with them all through the day.

Though it has a long list of ingredients, it is a really a very simple recipe and easy to prepare. All it takes is a big pot and lots of chopping.

Giambotta: Italian Vegetable Stew

1 bunch of swiss chard

2-3 small egg plants

One large onion

4-6 medium sized tomatoes

3 carrots

2 green peppers

Six small potatoes

3-4 cloves of garlic

One large zucchini

… and any other vegetables available from your garden

Serve with:

Crusty Italian bread

Grated parmesan cheese

White wine

Giambotta can be served over pasta. I would recommended are mostaccioli, penne or rigatoni.

As I was preparing this recipe, I was reminded of a scripture quote from Isaiah, that tell us what God expects of his followers:

… sharing your bread with the hungry,

 sheltering the oppressed and the homeless,

 clothing the naked when you see them,

 and not turning your back on your own.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn

 and your wound will quickly be healed.

— Isaiah 58:7

These are the words of a merciful God who gives us all life and provides the food that is in front of us to eat.

The actions God desire: Bring in those who are hungry. Bring in those how need to be clothed.

Make them your friends. Let’s all love one another and become a light to those in need.

With that being said, your dish should be cooked with love and friendship. And it should be shared.

God bless and good eating. Until next time ….

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[Lucia Ferrara, the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions at]

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