There are many traditional recipes on a "must eat in Tuscany" list, and the famous Ribollita is one of them. Quite simply, the word "ribollita" means boiled twice. It was a peasant recipe, to use the vegetables one had in the garden, leftover stale bread, simply combined to warm up on winter nights.
The most popular recipe is in the book "Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well" by Pellegrino Artusi, an Italian business man that at the end of the 19th century decided to collect a number of popular recipes to create a cook book with anecdotes and stories, spiced up with humour and historical relevance. Incredibly interesting read indeed.
Very easy recipe, our only recommendation is to buy good quality ingredients. Being so simple, the flavours of the vegetables and olive oil are really making the difference here.
Ingredients for 4 people
12 slices of stale sourdough bread
500gr White Beans
200ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Bunch of Kale (cavolo nero)
2 Carrots (chopped)
1 Onion (chopped)
1 Leek (chopped)
1 Stick of Celery (chopped)
1 Pinch of Thyme
100gr Diced Pancetta (Bacon)
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
1 Clove of Garlic
4 Sage Leaves
Salt & Pepper
Start with boiling the beans with garlic & sage. In a pan, place the extra virgin olive oil and start cooking the diced pancetta, the finely chopped onion, carrot (only one) and celery. Cut the cabbage and kale in small strips, slice the leek and carrot, then add to the pan.
When the beans are ready, puree half of it and add to the soup together with their cooking water and a tablespoon of tomato paste.
After 30 minutes, add the remaining beans and cook for another 40 minutes being careful the soup doesn't dry up. Add thyme, adjust salt and pepper.
In a soup tureen, make a layer of bread covered with the soup, keep going till you run out of bread and soup (like tiramisu :). Ideally, it should rest for 12-24 hours but you can eat right away if you cannot resist any longer.
If you eat it the next day, heat up a some extra vergin olive oil and then add the soup till it boils again (ri-bolle). Add pepper generously and some delicious extra virgin olive oil, we recommend for the whole recipe the Intense fruity from our shop. Jamie Oliver also suggests large quantities of Chianti, and we'd like to comply. Enjoy!