So I have discovered a new vegetable. Tuscan cabbage or in Italian Cavolo Nero. There is something about the perfect wrinkled leaves that I find intriguing. I am not trying to get all gospel on everyone but isn't it amazing that nature makes these perfectly wrinkled little narrow leaves on one cabbage and on another type they are flat, round and firm...Also, how amazing is it that this cabbage is native to Tuscany. Not Italy, but a very specific place in Italy....
Enough of that...Ribollita is Italian for 'reboiled'. In Italy this is traditionally made with leftover soup. But given that we don't do leftovers in my house....
Soak some cannellini beans overnight.
Add soaked beans to a pan of water with a bay leaf, tomato, and potato. The potato helps the flavour and is meant to soften the skin of the beans. Cook them for about an hour until tender.
Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Heat a saucepan with a little olive oil and add the chopped vegetables together with the fennel and chili and sweat very slowly over a low heat with the lid slightly adjar for about 20 minutes until soft but not brown.
Then add the tinned tomatoes, for a few minutes. Add the cooked, drained beans with a little of the water they were cooked in and bring back to the boil.
Stir in the sliced Tuscan cabbage. Add a little more water if you need to. It should be a think soupy consistency. Cook for about 30 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with some stale crusty bread.
- 310g of cannellini beans, soaked
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tomato, squashed
- 1 small potato, peeled
- 2 small red onions, peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 3 sticks of celery, trimmed
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- olive oil
- pinch of ground fennel seeds
- pinch of dried chili
- tin of quality Italian tomatoes
- 310g of Tuscan Cabbage together with stalks finely sliced
- salt and pepper
- some crusty stale bread to serve