Making Ribollita in Tuscany:
I’m sure I heard someone saying that this wonderful dish was the Italian equivalent of Jewish Chicken Soup. Something that is so much a part of the culture and heritage of Tuscany that no one needs a recipe and everyone has their own way of making it.
Well, on my recent trip to Tuscany we were lucky enough to have a cookery lesson from Anna Bini, a lovely Italian chef with three restaurants in Paris(!). It was her wonderful Villa that Tuscany Now had offered us for this trip – and she came back to stay next door and share a few secrets of cooking in Tuscany with us. One small challenge – much of the food in the area is dominated by meat and my companion, The Hedonist, doesn’t eat meat at all. So when Anna prepared the Ribollita she explained that she’d left out the ham bone from the bean stock. And, nothing was measured, so my recipe is very much my estimate of what was used.
Anna also made a few other dishes for us including swordfish with fennel and a chestnut cake called Castanaccio. . The swordfish and fennel dish was delicious and one I will attempt to recreate at some point. And we all sat down to a wonderful Tuscan feast, finishing off with some Grappa!
Many thanks to Anna for our cookery lesson and to TuscanyNow, providers of villas in Tuscany for organising our trip to Il Monte.