A recipe inspired by our cousin Cornelia Poletto
I wanted to share this recipe a while ago. It still resonates from our wonderful Tuscany vacation past September. “Ribollita” literally means “reboiled”. It is very famous in Tuscany, a hearty potage made with bread and vegetables.
There are many variations but the main ingredients always include leftover bread, cannelini beans and inexpensive vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, beans, savoy cabbage (or kale), onions etc. It used to be a typical peasant’s meal, and was originally prepared by reheating the leftover minestrone from the previous day. Hubert had a delicious Ribollita in Pienza at the lovely, small Osteria “Sette di Vino”, something you shouldn’t miss when you visit Tuscany. When you search for a Ribollita recipe, you will soon realise the numerous variations. I came across a nice recipe of our cousin Cornelia Poletto, who is a chef herself (yes, we really ARE a FoodFamily;-) ) and it was exactly what I was looking for! In the end you can free style when it comes to the ingredients. Cornelia, for example, added Salsiccia, an Italian sausage, whereas I happened to still have some Chorizo, which was also a nice combination. For the vegetarians or vegans amongst you, you can simply skip the meat. I left out the parmesan, because of Hubert, but I assume the parmesan gives it the cherry on the top.
- 300 g dried canellini beans
- 1 garlic clove
- 4 shallots
- 10 Tbsp olive oil
- 800 ml vegetable stock
- 1 branch of rosemary
- 250 g savoy cabbage,
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 carrots
- 2 branch of thyme
- salt, pepper
- 8 thin slices of Ciabatta
- 80 g freshly grated parmesan
- Soak the beans in water over night.
- The next day pour off the water.
- Finely dice the garlic, shallots and the celery.
- Glaze half of the shallots and garlic in 3 Tbsp of oil, add the beans and fill up with 700 ml of vegetable stock. Add the rosemary branch and boil for about one hour until the beans are soft.
- Dice the carrots.
- Wash the savoy cabbage and remove the finning. Cut the leaves in 1-2 cm pieces. Glaze celery, carrots, other half of the shallots and the thyme in 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Generously season with salt and pepper. Add the rest of the vegetable stock, cover it, and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Pour off and keep the liquid of the beans. Remove the rosemary. Purée 500 g of the beans and ca. 300 ml of the liquid. Add some seasoning.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C. Roast the bread in the remaining olive oil until crusty.
- Take a casserole dish and layer alternately half of the amount of bread, the bean purée and vegetable mix. Put the chorizo on top, then coat with the parmesan and bake for about ten minutes in the oven.
As you can see from the picture I also added some tomatoes. In my case the Ribollita was very thick. It tasted great but if you prefer it more fluid, you can simply take more vegetable stock. If you serve a Ribollita for guests, a more attractive way of serving it, is to use one small casserole dish per person.