A recipe to celebrate Artusi, the first gourmet of newly made Italy, here the link for another recipe from Artusi’s book.
Artusi, highly patriotic, with his “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well” aimed to contribute to the makings of the national culture. Although this book includes recipes mainly from Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, Artusi made reference to varied local Italian cuisines. Artusi clearly wanted to celebrate the gastronomic richness of the recently united Italy
Storia di un libro che rassomiglia alla storia di Cenerentola (Story of a book similar to Cinderella, Artusi in the introduction of the 6thedition,1902)
Artusi recipes’ manuscript was reject by a number of publisher and so he had to resort to publishing it at his own expense in 1891. But as Cinderella at the ball it was very well received, not only by the ladies who had first encouraged him, but also by very influential figures such as Paolo Mantegazza, a well known anthropologist and senator of the newly born Kingdom of Italy who publicly praised and supported the book and its author thus: « in giving us this book you have done a very good thing and I therefore wish you one hundred editions».
The recipe I present is very similar to the one included in Artusi original book, but as person who lived the first 23 years of her life in Tuscany, I propose the version that my mother used to prepare for me on rainy days as comfort food.
To prepare the beans
300 gr dried Cannellini
1 spring thyme
1 bay leaf
1 spring rosemary
For the soup
250 gr Lacinato kale leaves
1/4 Green or Savoy cabbage
1 stick celery
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (200 g) tomato puree
1 tsp black pepper
to taste table salt
- Soak the beans 12 hours into fresh water, then rinse and boil into a pot covered with water about 1 hour, along with 1 bay leaf, rosemary and thyme. Cook the beans until perfectly soft. Remouve, bay leaf, rosemary and thymeTake a cup of beans and with a blender, blend the rest of the beans in their broth.
- Prepare the Soffritto: the basic Italian sautéed vegetables. Peel and cut the onion into halves, then reduce into thin slices. After that, peel and slice the carrots, then peel and crush the cloves of garlic. Finally, slice the stick of celery.
- Pour all these vegetables into a thick-bottomed heavy pot, along with 4 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil. and sauté over medium heat, stirring as needed, until the vegetables become tender and translucent.
- Reduce the Lacinato kale and the cabbage into flakes of different sizes. After that, peel and dice the potato.
- Once the Soffritto is ready, add the potato, kale, and cabbage, and sautè 10 minutes. Then, add the tomato puree, the thyme, the beans broth.
- Cover with the lid, set the flame to let the Ribollita simmer very gently, and cook 2 hours. If necessary, add more broth a ladle at a time.
- Finally, add the the whole beans, and cook 30 minutes more, stirring as needed. Add salt to taste.
- Serve with pouring a generous amount of olive oil