We could go on forever but the Use Your Loaf series ends triumphantly with Ribollita. Possibly the greatest, tastiest recipe for using up stale bread ever.
Another dish from Tuscany, Ribollita is a stew of cannellini beans and kale thickened with stale country bread that wastes nothing. The beauty of this dish is that it thickens each time you reheat it, it’s very name means reboiled. The idea being to make a big vat of it and re-serve it each day until the last day when it’s so thick it is fried as a pancake – think bubble and squeak. Think yummy.
This is our Ribollita on day 2.
We follow Mario Batali’s lead, who serves up with a thick slice of garlic rubbed, olive oil drizzled chargrilled toast, dowsed in serious amounts of parmesan, topped with the stew.
While the stew itself is vegan, the parmesan ruins all that good work. Soz!
45 mins | 6 servings | v. v. easy
No need to follow quantities precisely, go with your judgement, the below is merely guidance
1 large red onion
3 large carrots
3 stalks celery
1 large yukon gold potato – or other waxy potato
fresh bay leaves
4 cloves garlic
2 tins cannellini beans with cooking liquid
400ml carton passata
225g kale – you are most welcome to mix in some swiss chard too
thick sliced one day old rustic bread
When cooking with beans, it’s important not to season until the end of the cooking time as salt makes the beans go hard.
Prep the veg. Peel and dice the onion, peel (if you need to) and chop carrots, we’ve taken to peeling our celery of late to removes the strings, dice it, dice the potato, skin on, peel and crush 3 of the 4 garlic cloves. Wash and chop the kale, drain the beans, keeping the cooking liquid, and give the beans a quick rinse.
Heat a goodly splosh of oil in a large pan over a medium heat and throw in the onions for a couple of minutes by themselves. Add the thyme and bay leaves to the pan, stir, add in the carrots, celery and potato, give it a stir to get everything coated. give this little lot about 5mins or so, stirring occasionally.
Get the garlic in next, stir, give it a minute, add the kale, stir and then throw the beans on top. Pour the passata in, then the aquafaba and stir it all together.
Bring to the boil then cover and reduce the heat so it is gently bubbling and cook for 15mins until it has thickened.
Heat a griddle pan while that’s happening, drizzle olive oil over the slices of bread, season with sea salt and chargrill. When they are nicely charred on both sides, remove from the pan and rub with the remaining garlic clove cut in half.
Season the ribollita, taste it and adjust if necessary.
Place the toast in the bottom of pasta bowls, top liberally with parmesan and spoon the stew over the top.
Moltissimo: Mario Batali cooks Ribollita and Arista Toscana for Action Bronson and Missy Robbins. On Vice’s Munchies Channel.