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A ham is already cooked so the baking is to just warm it up and season with sauce.
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It is quick, easy and proves again that there seems to be no limit to the various ways that Italian peasant food can be made to taste delicious. A giambotta is an Italian stew, particularly hearty and good for the winter months. It can be vegetarian or with meat, but Joanne Avalon prepares one of her family recipes the way they made it growing up in an Italian household, made with sweet Italian sausage seasoned with fennel.
You start by putting some orecchiette or similar pasta on to boil and then sautéing diced garlic, carrots, celery and onion in olive oil. Joanne adds sweet Italian sausage but you can use whatever meat you have, even if it was left over and already cooked. Add chopped tomatoes from the can (Joanne prefers San Marzano tomatoes), some red wine, and a tablespoon of tomato paste as it cooks a little more. Then add some cannelloni beans and fresh spinach (you can add another green if you wish). Let spinach wilt and, if it is too dry, add a little of the water used to cook the pasta.
1 pound orecchiette (or similar pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, diced
¼ cup carrots, diced
¼ cup celery, diced
¼ cup onion, diced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
½ can chopped tomatoes (San Marzano recommended)
12 ounce can cannelloni beans
4 ounces baby spinach (Swiss chard or kale can be substituted but will need to be cut into smaller pieces)
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup pasta water (reserved from pasta pot)
optional: 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1. Put water on to boil and add pasta when ready.
2. In large pan sauté garlic, carrots, celery, and onion until soft. Add sausage, crumble, and cook until no longer pink.
3. Add tomatoes, wine, and tomato paste and mix with rest of ingredients over medium heat.
4. Then add some cannelloni beans and fresh spinach (you can add another green such as Swiss chard or kale if you wish but be sure to cut into smaller pieces since they are tougher). Let spinach wilt and, if it is too dry, add a little of the water used to cook the pasta.
5. Drain and add the cooked pasta right into the pan and mix before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Joanne Avallon, 2010.
Joanne and I have known each other since high school; we've been teenagers together and now we are raising teenagers together, and we still laugh very hard about it all. With a law degree and a Ma