I am so excited about this week’s blog. I have such a special treat for you. My friend Claudio, photographer and chef extraordinaire, is doing a guest spot here on PatriciaG Loves Italy and he brings with him one of his favorite La Cucina Povera recipes.
I’ve been the benefactor of many of Claudio's deliziosa meals while living in Firenze. I am so incredibly delighted that he’s agreed to be a guest on PatriciaG Loves Italy and share his very own recipe for one of Tuscany’s classic & oldest traditional recipes....Ribollita. As he prepared this dish for us, he stopped along the way to photograph the process. A double treat!! I've done my best to translate into English. Some things are idiomatic and don't translate well, but I've left them in. I've also included the recipe in Italian below, because..well...everything just sounds better in Italian.
I can go on and on about this as I'm so excited, but without further ado I turn it over to Claudio....insert drumroll and operatic music here!
La Ribollita di Claudio
Season: Winter, Region: Toscana
Curiosity: already in the Middle Ages there was talk of a soup of bread and black cabbage: a poor Tuscan dish of peasant tradition. Initially it was not called "ribollita" but "Tuscan soup of the lean farmer".
Traditionally, on Friday, no meat was eaten; A soup was then prepared with plenty of bread and vegetables, so that it could be boiled over the next two days.
For a tastier soup, the leaves that have been taken "i'ghiaccio" (put in ice) should be used, this because the cabbage is more tender and tasty in extreme cold.
There are many variables of this recipe, and they can all be called "ribollita" as long as you use dried cannellini beans (which will be soaked 12 hours in water), Tuscan bread (typical bread without salt). Last, but not least, the use of Tuscan Kale, a vegetable belonging to the family of brassicaceae, present in the Tuscan territory, which is consumed during the winter seasons.
Grazie mille Claudio! Having been in your kitchen I know that this was made with great intention and enormous love. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to blend our cultures & explore La Cucina Povera. Firenze to New York City! Eat...Live...Love! And now for that recipe....
Recipe for 4 people:
For boiled beans:
½ pound (200 grams) of dried cannellini beans
1 small onion
1 stalk of celery
1 clove of garlic
For the soup:
A little over ½ pound (250 grams) Tuscan Cabbage
Additional 6 ounces (150 grams) of Savoy Cabbage and/or Chard
1 medium carrot
2 medium potatoes
Half white or golden onion
2 peeled tomatoes
Stale Tuscan bread cut into slices
Salt, Black Pepper, Thyme
Clean the beans in water and drain. Immerse them in plenty of cold water and let them rest for 12 hours. Then put the beans and their water in a pot, together with the onion cut into quarters, the celery cut into pieces and the garlic previously peeled. Over medium heat boil with a semi-closed lid for 60/90 minutes.
Day 2: Prepare the soup for the 'day of skinny' known as Il giorno di magro (used in this case because meat is not eaten)
Chop the onion and cut the carrot, peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Clean the Tuscan kale (removing the stems), the cabbage and the chard. Cut all the green leafy vegetables into strips.
In a pot, (terracotta preferred if you have) pour 2-3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Combine onion, carrots and potatoes and let them soften over a moderate heat. Add the green leafy vegetables and mix. Finally add the peeled tomatoes and cover with the cooking water of the beans. Cook for 45 minutes adding cooking water if necessary. Meanwhile, reduce 2/3 of the beans into purees (in a blender or Vitamix) and add them to the vegetable mix, continuing cooking for another 30 minutes. Toward the end add 1/3 of whole beans and season with salt.
In a bowl place a layer of slices of the bread, and cover with cooked vegetables, repeat until you use all of the ingredients. Let it rest.
Heat the bread soup making sure it does not stick to the bottom. Serve in a dish topping with extra virgin olive oil, pepper, and thyme.
As always, I'd love to hear from you in the Comments section below. And I invite you to visit my Shop to check out the latest and greatest in my Photo Notecards & Prints. And I'd really love it if you'd share with friends & family. Grazie & Big Love, PatriciaG
La Ricetta in italiana: Ricetta per 4 persone:
Per i fagioli lessati: 200 gr di fagioli cannellini secchi
1 piccola cipolla
1 gambo di sedano
1 spicchio d’aglio
Per la zuppa: 250 gr cavolo nero
150 gr tra cavolo cappuccio, cavolo verza e bietola
1 carota media
2 patate medie
mezza cipolla bianca o dorata
2 pomodori pelati
pane toscano raffermo tagliato a fette
sale, pepe nero, timo
Primo giorno: Pulire in acqua i fagioli e scolarli. Immergerli in abbondante acqua fredda e lasciarli riposare per 12 ore. Versare a questo punto i fagioli e la loro acqua in una pentola, insieme alla cipolla tagliata a quarti, il sedano tagliato a pezzi e l’aglio precedentemente sbucciato. A fuoco medio si lesseranno a coperchio semi chiuso per 60/90 minuti. Termina la cottura si eliminano la cipolla, l’aglio e il sedano.
Secondo giorno: Si prepara la zuppa per il giorno di magro.
Tritare la cipolla e tagliare la carota, sbucciare e tagliare a dadini le patate. Pulire il cavolo nero, il cavolo cappuccio, la verza e la bietola eliminando la parte centrale del cavolo nero. Tagliare a striscioline tutte le verdure a foglia verde.
In una pentola, meglio di coccio (terracotta) versare 2-3 cucchiaini di olio extravergine di oliva. Unire cipolla, carote e patate e farle ammorbidire a fuoco moderato. Aggiungere le verdure a foglia verde e mescolare. Aggiungere infine i pomodori pelati e coprire con l’acqua di cottura dei fagioli. Cuocere per 45 minuti aggiungendo acqua di cottura se necessario. Nel frattempo, ridurre in purea 2/3 dei fagioli e aggiungerli nel mix di verdure continuando la cottura per altri 30 minuti. Verso la fine aggiungere 1/3 di fagioli interi e aggiustare di sale.
In una zuppiera si inserisce uno strato di fette di pane, e si ricopre con le verdure cucinate, e così via fino a fine degli ingredienti. lasciare riposare
Terzo giorno: Riscaldare la minestra di pane facendo attenzione che non si attacchi sul fondo. Servire in un piatto aggiungendo olio extravergine, pepe, e del timo.