Cacciatora, oven-roasted


This recipe is a riff on the one in Lynne Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift’s The Spendid Table’s How to Eat Supper (2008).

The workflow for this, especially if you’re serving guests, works well if you do all the chopping ahead of time, and load the pans. Be sure and store them in the fridge, though! If you don’t have room for pans, then keep the veggies in a bowl, and that way assembly will be faster.

You can adjust the proportions, although this version will give you some idea of the veg vs meat, plus flavorings, etc.

Chop the following into large hunks. Dump into bowl. Dress with some olive oil, fresh-ground black pepper, and minced garlic. Mix thoroughly.

  • 1-2 red sweet Bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2-4 plum tomatoes, very large dice, 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium onions or 1 large onion, same large dice

Set aside cleaned herbs. I always use sage. You can also add rosemary. K&S add fennel seeds, but I don’t like ’em so I skip ’em. You also need these:

  • 2-4 lbs poultry parts, I like turkey thighs in chunks
  • ½ cup Kalamata black olives, pitted
  • about ½ lb thin Genoa or hard salami, “hunter/cacciatore” is traditional

Preheat oven to 400°F at the appropriate time.

When you’re ready to assemble the pans, rub a bit of olive oil over the bottom and up the sides of two half-sheet pans. Then put down a bit of herb, like a leaf or two of sage, or a 1-2 inch section of rosemary. Stack a piece of meat on top of it. I use skinless meat, so I put a whole big slice of the salami on top of that, to add super flavor instead of the skin.

Space the meat out, so that there’s lots of space between each meat-stack. Now, take the oiled veggies and quickly add a bit of salt (optional). Then, scatter them gently around the meat. Don’t include too many veggies, or they won’t roast properly and will cover the salami too much. Splash about ¼ cup red wine around on each pan. Put pans in oven.

Let roast for about 20 minutes. Remove and gently stir veggies. If you opt to put the meat stacks in one pan and the veggies in a separate pan, this is easier, but of course the flavors don’t mix as much.

Return to oven for another 10 minutes. If meat is on the bone, it’ll need more time, but if it’s boneless, it should be done after about 30 minutes. You can figure this out on your own!

Arrange the meat stacks to ring a platter and dump the veggies in the middle. Most of the wine/liquid will have roasted away, but drizzle what’s left over it all. Add chopped fresh herbs, if you like. You can also add a squeeze of lemon.