The Recipe of buca mario’s Ribollita
Learn how to make the traditional Tuscan dish with this step-by-step recipe
In any discussion of traditional Florentine cuisine, we have to mention ribollita, a humble dish with rural origins, handed down through the generations. But what’s the best way to prepare it? To find out, we’re helped by the classic Buca Mario restaurant, a symbol of the Florence of bygone times, which reveals its secret recipe.
Ingredients: 400 g cannellini beans, 400 g stale Tuscan bread, cavolo nero (not too long, if possible), 2 carrots, 1 potato, 3 or 4 stalks of celery, 4 peeled tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, 1 white onion, ½ a Savoy cabbage, 2 cloves of garlic, salt and, if desired, black pepper ground over the finished dish.
Preparation: Rinse the beans and soak for 12 hours. Then place in a large pot with cold water, the garlic and one stalk of celery. Cook on a low heat, topping up with boiling water when necessary: you need more water than usual to soak the bread. Cook for about 2 hours. Blanch the cavolo nero in a little water, chop coarsely and place in a pan with the onion, chopped celery, the peeled and sliced potato, the chopped cabbage, sliced carrot and tomatoes, in plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Then add a ladleful of the bean cooking water and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, remove half the beans and and purée them, leaving the rest whole, and keep warm. Add the cooking water to the vegetables and continue cooking gently for another 30 minutes. In another pan, place the slices of bread soaked in the stock; add the garlic, some of the whole beans and some of the vegetables. Allow to cook uncovered for 45 minutes on a very low heat. The ribollita should be thick, smooth, inviting and homogeneous. Serve hot or warm, garnished with a grind of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.