RITA'S RECIPES - by IL COLLE DI SOTTO

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Ribollita
"Reboiled"
Ingredients: 1 cup cannellini beans (uncooked), 1 large red onion (sliced), 2 carrots (diced), 1 celery stalk (diced), 4 potatoes (diced), 10 zucchini (diced), 1 1/2 cup swiss chard (shredded), 1 leek, 1 savoy cabbage (shredded), 1 bunch kale (shredded), salt and pepper, 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 days old stale Tuscan white bread.
Soak the beans overnight and then cook over low heat. It will take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours for them to cook. In a pan, gently fry the onion. Add the other vegetables, with the exception of the cabbage, kale and beans which are added at a later point. When the vegetables have sweated out their juice, cover with hot water and then add all the cabbage and kale. Cover and simmer for an hour over medium heat. Add the cooked beans (some of them whole and some puréed), salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring frequently because the beans tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato paste. Slice the stale bread and, in an earthenware casserole, alternate layers of bread with the soup until the bread is soaked. Let rest for one day. To serve, remove the desired quantity from the casserole and reheat it, or "re-boil" it, as the name in Italian suggests.


Panzanella

Ingredients: a large loaf of white bread, 1 large onion, 2/3 salad tomatoes, 1 cucomber, aboundant basil, olive oil.
Slice thickly the bread and put to soack in a basin if water and a little bit of ehite vinegar. Finely slice the onion and the tomatoes into a dish and add a handful of chooped basil. Squeeze the bread dry, add the vegetables, plus olive oil, salt and pepper.


Pappa al Pomodoro

"Tomato baby soup..really delicious!"
Ingredients: 1 kg ripe tomatoes, 400 gr 2 days old stale Tuscan white bread, 1 litre vegetable broth, 4 or 5 garlic cloves with peel, 1/2 onion (minced), a lot of basil, extra virgil olive oil (1 cup about), salt and chilli.
Place the oil, the minced onion and the garlic cloves in a large bowl and leave a little brown. Add chilli, a handful minced of chopped basil and then the tomatoes, cut into small pieces and salt. Let cook for 5 minutes about and add the stale bread, cut into thin slices. Mix and when bread took all the sauce, to continue cooking adding, a little at a time, the warm vegetable broth, until you don’t reach the desired consistency. During cooking is recommended to stir often with a wooden spoon. At the end add the remaining basil and let cook for 20 minutes about. Let cool for 2 hours about and then check the consistency, otherwise you can add a little bit of broth. Serve warm, adding a bit of fresh cut basil and a swirl of good olive oil on top.


Fresh Egg Pasta
The pasta shapes
Ingredients: 100 gr semolino or white white flour for 1 egg, salt.
Put the flour onto a flat surface and make a large hole in the centre. Add egg, 1 tablespoon oil, salt. Knead the dough until it's soft and elastic. Add some more flour if it's too wet and sticky or some warm water if it's too dry. This dough is ideal to make different types of pasta: tagliatelle, pappardelle, maltagliati, ravioli, lasagne, etc...(to make green tagliatelle just add some cold stimmed, finely chopped spinach to the dough). Stir the dough with rolling-pin or with a pasta machine more times, each time getting a thinner sheet of pasta (and to let air bubbles go away). On each "sheet" add flour only on the under side to avoid pasta to stick to the surface. The upper surface has to stay with no flour, as we will need it to stick after we have put the topping. When you have enough sheets for the quantity you need for your ravioli, spread them on the surface and put the topping in little balls in the middle of sheet. Then fold the other part of the pasta sheet on the part with the topping at the centre of each square. You can use particular round blade to shape the edges in the typical ravioli shape (with "waves") or just with a knife: this will give ravioli a more hand-made look. Spread the ravioli you made on a large dish, with flour under and over them to avoid them to stick one another.

The filling for ravioli with ricotta cheese and spinach
Ingredients: 200 gr of spinach, 200 gr ricotta cheese for 600 gr od flour, salt and pepper.
Stimm the spinach, let them cool, squeeze and chop before you mix with the ricotta cheese, salt and pepper.


Tomato Sauce

Pomarola
Ingredients:
celery, garlic, onion and carrot, salt and pepper, 1 or 2 tomatoes per person (if possible choose a mixture of "Fiorentino" and "SanMarzano" tomatoes, by far the best varieties for sauce-making).
In a thick bottomed pan pour extra-virgin olive oil and slowly sautè finely chooped celery, a little carrot, onion and garlic. Add well washed, quartered tomatoes, cook slowly until tomatoes begin to break up and season with salt and pepper. Put tomatoes through a vegetable sieve and return to heat. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Add to cooked pasta and toss in a few fresh basil leaves and olive oil.


Meat Sauce
Ragù Bolognese
Ingredients: celery, onion and carrot, fresh tomatoes or pomarola sauce.
Prepare a generous amount of chopped vegetables sauteing them until well cooked. Add minced meat, 500 gr for 8 people about (it's also good to combine meats, such as veal and pork together with beef). Cook and stir well ensuring that lumps don't form. Add a little red wine and when it has evaporated add 500 gr peeled tomatoes piesces (cut or even torn by hand). Add salt and pepper and leave to cook for at least 2 hours on a low flame and partially covered. As the liquid evaporates the sauce becomes stronger in flavour. However during this process it may be necessary to add a little water or stock.


Arista alla Fiorentina
Ingredients: 1 kg boneless center-cut pork loin roast (about 2 pounds), 3 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, 3 large cloves of garlic, minced, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp ground black pepper, cooking string, 2 tbsp olive oil.
Mix together the rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Make deep cuts into the pork roast, stuff the incisions with the garlic mixture and spread any remaining mixture over the entire surface of the meat. It is recommended you tie the roast with some cooking string in order to maintain its neat, compact shape and ensure even cooking; if it is a single-piece roast, then the tying is optional. Pour the oil into a large enough saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Add the pork roast and roll it around until you've browned the piece on all sides. Now place the roast on a baking dish (the dish/pan should not be too big otherwise the juices will dry out before you can use them) and place it into the oven to cook at about 350 °F (180°C) for about an hour and a half. Check the roast periodically and baste with the pan juices, rolling the roast around every once in a while. If you have a meat thermometer, the roast is done once the thickest part of the roast has reached 150-155 °F. Since we don't have one, our method is to make a hole in the thickest part of the roast with a long thin metal toothpick and remove it; the roast is done when no pink liquid comes out of the hole. Remove the roast to a cutting board, cover loosely with alumnimum foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Slice the meat and serve with the pan juices.


Pollo alla Cacciatora
Ingredients:
1 chicken, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, celery, a carrot, onion, 2 glasses of white wine, 300 gr of tomatoes, salt and pepper, black olives.
Cut the chicken into pieces. Chop the vegetables and put them on a low flame with the oil and wine for about 5 minutes. Put the chicken into the pan and fry it on a high flam e for about 5-10 minutes. Add a glass of white wine and after it has evaporated, add the peeled tomatoes, salt and pepper and the olives. Put a lid on it and leave to cook slowly for 45 minutes. If necessary add some hot water. Serve it hot with boiled vegetables or fresh salad.


Schiacciata alla Fiorentina
Florentine Sponge Cake. It’s a typical cake of Florence with simple and light ingredients but very delicious. Its most important characteristic is the drawing of Florence’s Fleur de Lys with cocoa that have to be in the centre of the cake, while all around it there is icing sugar.
Ingredients: 150 gr sugar, 1 whole egg, pinch of salt, the juice and the grated rind from 1 orange, 11 spoons of milk, 4 spoons of vegetables oil, 250 gr flour, 1 small sachet of baking powder, a knob of butter to grease.
Beat 1 whole egg with 150gr of sugar and salt. Add the juice of 1 orange and the grated rind of 1 orange, then 11 spoons of milk, 4 spoons of vegetable oil, 250gr flour and 1 small bag of yeast for cakes. Grease a rectangular baking tin with butter, dust lightly with flour and pour in the mixture.The mixture should be about 1 cm high. Bake in a medium oven at 190° for about 30 minutes. Let it cool and serve dusted with icing sugar.

Tiramisù
Tiramisu is a cool, refreshing Italian dessert that once tasted, leaves an indelible impression on you.
Ingredients: 5 whole eggs, 5 spoons of sugar, 500 gr Mascarpone cheese, Savoyarde biscuits, 2 tablespoons of Marsala, Espresso, 1/2 cup, double strength, 100 gr bitter chocolate, cocoa powder.
Beat the egg yolks with sugar and continue continue to beat very well until the mixture is smooth. After gradually (with a spoon) add Mascarpone cheese and turn it continuously. Beat egg whites until they hold peaks, set aside and add them to the mixture.Prepare an Espresso coffee and let it cool at room temperature.Mix cold espresso with a little of Marsala in an another bowl and lightly soak the Savoiardi biscuits in the coffee, one at a time.Grate the bitter chocolate square and then distribute a little of Mascarpone cream in a layer container (30x20 cm – approximately 4 cm deep) with chocolate and then the coffee-dipped Savoiardi biscuits.Repeat the step until the ingredients are ended. At the end top Tiramisù with the rest of the cream. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder and refrigerate for about 3 – 4 hours.


Frittelle di Riso
F
rittelle di riso, fried rice fritters, are a Tuscan tradition for St. Joseph's day, March 19.

Ingredients: 1 liter milk (about 4 cups), 150 gr. white rice, pinch of salt, 3 eggs, 50 gr sugar, grated orange peel, from 1 orange, 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour, oil for frying, powdered sugar.
In a sauce, heat up the milk, rice and salt. Cook until the rice softens and begins to fall apart; if you need to, add more milk during this time. Remove from heat and let the cooked rice cool down, even better if you cover it and put it in the refrigerator overnight. In large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, orange peel and flour. Add the cooked rice and mix well. With your hands form small balls and set aside. Heat your frying oil up, then fry the balls until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

 

*** BUON APPETITO!!! ***

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