Nonna’s Italian Stew

October has arrived!  

Finally, we’re able to enjoy a break in the intense heat of this past summer.  All of these welcomed cooler days and chilly evenings officially ring in the time of year to prepare delicious, rib-sticking, hearty soups and stews.   So today, with daytime temps in the low 70’s, it was a perfect time to prepare my mother’s treasured stew.

Although we enjoy this throughout fall and winter, it is very special to my family because we traditionally serve this stew every Christmas eve, ladled on top of creamy polenta and thick slices of cheese.  Since my family is from the northern mountains of Italy, they do not live near the sea.  My relatives weren’t even aware of the Italian ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ on Christmas eve!

Now this is definitely an Italian version of beef and vegetable stew.  It’s thick tomato base and garlic give this stew it’s distinctive difference.  Here is the recipe for our beloved Italian stew:


Nonna's Italian Stew
  • 2 lbs. round steak or London broil, cut into 1" cubes
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 6 carrots, peeled, sliced into 1 - 2" pieces
  • 10 russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 2" cubes
  • 2 cups sliced celery, with the leaves chopped up
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • at least 12 oz. of tomato paste
  • at least 4 cups of water
  1. In a large, deep, heavy pot, brown the meat cubes in the olive oil.
  2. Add the garlic when the meat is browned (do not burn the garlic).
  3. Add the tomato paste and the water.
  4. Cook the meat approximately 45 minutes.
  5. Add all of the vegetables and more water if it is too thick.
  6. Add the parsley.
  7. Cook for potatoes are 'al dente' and NOT mushy, about 20 minutes.
  8. Always taste and change, taste and change to your preferences!


Even Coco, our Siamese, was able to sneak in the kitchen and lick up some of the sauce!  Yup . . . that good!
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  1. says

    Always found Nonna such a beautiful name from Grandmother;)
    And her stew recepie is absolutely the end!And tehn served on creamy polenta.Yes yes and yes;)

  2. says

    I am loving the idea of this on polenta with a thick slab of cheese. And you know I have lots of “stew weather” ahead of me – Nonna’s stew will be made. Can I say I am amused that you consider mid 70’s cool enough for stew! Here mid 70’s (and it has been 80 in MN) is considered summer!

  3. says

    Hi Roz, Yesterday was our first break from the 90 degree temps, woo hoo! In honor of the relief I baked :) Grandma’s stew looks and sounds wonderful. I like the russets in stew, great in combo with tomato.

  4. says

    My dear Roz, I am so pleased that you are back blogging, I am sure your husband is right when he says this will take your mind off troubles. I have to say I have found blogging to be therapeutic in helping me mourn my Mum. Take Care x
    Nonna’s Italian Stew certainly seems to be approved of by Coco.

  5. says

    This sounds like a small piece of heaven in a bowl. I always love your mom’s recipes (yours too of course). I’ve pinned this Christmas stew.
    Roz, I’m so glad you are back. You don’t give specifics, but I saw your absence was more than just your usual back-to-school busy schedule. I’m sending prayers your way. May God bless you and yours.

  6. says

    Hi Sweet Joy! Thank you for all of your kind comments and prayers for me that I cherish tremendously! I am not out of the woods yet regarding the issue in my life, but am taking things day by day. Thank you for your prayers that I firmly believe are answered in the right way at the right time. I’m sending love your way for good things to return you! I haven’t blogged much, just getting back into it slowly. Blessings to you! Roz

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