Aside from the Sunshine and the clear skies, spending time at the Ocean with my boys and getting my Lobster fix when I can, I think what I love next in line is the beautiful and plentiful bounty we are provide by the Summer harvest.
Growing up I had the luxury and opportunity to pick the vegetables for our nightly salad and supper. I have fond memories of selecting from several varieties of lettuce. What would it be today? Romaine, Boston or Escarole?Picking it out of the earth where the lettuce was warm from the day’s sunshine pouring down on it. Next I would move to the Tomatoes where I could select from Big Boys, Early Girl, Cherry or Plum. selection of tomatoes (my Dad had hands of gold despite their callouses). Onto the Onions. Would it be Scallions, Spanish or Shallots? Carrots were followed by Zucchini and Eggplant and Cucumbers. We had salad every night tossed with the only dressing we ever knew….Red Wine Vinegar mixed with Olive Oil.
Great memories frequently come to me when I am cooking. Today was a much needed day for me to go to that special place from where I came. Since I was gifted three great looking Zucchini and a HUGE green pepper, I decided to make one of my Nonna’s specialties called “Giambotta”. Growing up during the summer, we had this about once a week. Although techincally a Southern Italian dish, somehow it made its way into my Nonna’s Northern Italian kitchen and it has remained one of my favorites. As I sit and type this, I am experiencing the most intoxicating aromas! The word “Giambotta” has the slang meaning of variety or basically use up whatever is in your cupboard connotation. It is a very forgiving dish, so if you are missing one of the core ingredients or dislike one, substitute it for something else! Although it may give the dish a different flavor, it will just be a new variation. Give it a try!
Here is my recipe – Again, make this dish your own by practicing!
Olive Oil (if you don’t have it, use Canola)
Potatoes (1 large or 3 small)
Zucchini or Summer Squash (1 large or several medium- I use both types)
Scallions (1 bunch, also can use whatever onion you want)
Pepper (1 large Red, Green, Italian)
Mushroom (again optional)
Pepperoni (could be substituted for Ham, Chicken or skip but Pepperoni rocks!)
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Pasta of your choice (I love it over Linguine or Angel Hair)
In a Large Fry pan, add about 1/8 cup of Olive Oil. Add in fresh smashed garlic (to your taste level). Add the potatoes in (they should be cut/cubed). Add the onions and peppers (sliced or diced), Mushrooms, Zucchini (cut in chunks) and lastly the Pepperoni. Give a good stir. Let saute for about 10 minutes. Add in 1 Large can of Diced Tomatoes (16oz) and 1 small can of Tomato Paste. Add in 1 cup hot water. Add in spices you like: I add, Salt, pepper, Thyme, Tumeric and Paprika. I also use fresh parsley and basil (if none available used dried. Taste and adjust accordingly. Let simmer on mediu heat for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. When done, add in about 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, stir through.
Serve over your Pasta choice…..