Taranto is and industrial port city and naval base way south in Italy in the instep of the boot, facing North Africa. Its food is heavily influenced by that of nearby North Africa, as shown in this dish. With the layered aromatics and potatoes and other vegetables, the limited liquid and the slow cooking, this is clearly descended from the North African Tagine. In fact, the next time I prepare this, it will be in my tagine dish rather than the baking dish shown here.
It looks like a big dish, but it's not heavy and it's really good; the two of us ate the whole thing!