Cacciatore

There is a restaurant in Pondicherry – Don Giovanni – its located on a rooftop and run by and Italian guy who has been living in India for over twenty years now. A super friendly man who has stories about how 20 years ago when there was no cheese in Pondicherry, he used to get Yak cheese from Nepal.

They make pretty awesome cacciatore at he restaurant – the only problem – it is chicken cacciatore.

So, based on the flavors and a little bit of research on the web – I made cacciatore with veggies.

A hearty mix of eggplant, red bell pepper, mushroom and potatoes slow cooked in a fresh tomato sauce with some red wine and herbs.

We usually order the chicken cacciatore at Don Giovanni’s along with a lot of bread.

Bankim eats some chicken and we literally drown our heads into the liquid in the bowl!! I just soak up all the flavorful tomato sauce with my bread bit by bit and wipe the bowl clean at the end.

My recipe turned out a little chunky because I used a lot of vegetables as compared to the restaurant version.

Since there wasn’t a lot of liquid in my recipe…it paired perfect with pasta..I used fettuccine.  Also, my version tasted more like comfort food and less like the sexy cacciatore served at Don Giovanni.

But my version was flavorful enough to share here!!

Serves 4 people

Cooking time 1 hour

Things you will need:

1 medium size eggplant, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 medium potatoes,  peeled & sliced

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1 bag of mushrooms, use baby bella if you can, sliced

5 medium size tomatoes, skin removed and boiled in hot water for 15 min – you can use canned if you like

6 cloves of garlic, roughly choppped

1/2 cup red wine (optional)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, skip if you want to make it vegan

2 tbs olive oil, plus some more to stir fry the veggies

In a large pan stir fry vegetables in separate batches with some salt,  till they are cooked through and turn golden. In a large and deep saucepan, heat up some olive oil and cook garlic for 20 seconds. Dump in all the veggies and give them a quick stir. Add wine and let it cook on low for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, fresh herbs and season with some salt and pepper. Stir, cover and cook on low for about 30 min. At 20 minutes add the goat cheese and give it a taste to adjust the seasoning. Cover and cook for the last 10 min. Turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 min before serving.