…and then God said “Let there be sexy, passionate, irresistible crazy women that take no shit from anyone.” So he created Italian women.
While I contemplate Sunday dinner I took the time to adapted a favorite hearty ribollita for a late Saturday dinner. A slightly lighter version than I make in the winter using fresh spinach, Swiss Chard and day old bread. A plate of thinly sliced salamis and cheeses goes nicely with the ribollita for an easy summer dinner as does a nice bottle or red or rosé wine.
3 Tablespoons EVOO
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 large red onion, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 celery ribs with leaves, sliced
1/2 cup red wine or white wine
1 bunch Swiss chard, strip leaves from stalk, chop red stalks, ancho rough chop leaves
8 ounces baby spinach
1 Romano or parmesan rind
3 cups hearty vegetable stock
8 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1/2 (14 ounces) box San Marzano diced tomatoes
1 can cooked cannellini beans
Salt and pepper
pinches of red pepper flakes
3-4 sprigs fresh marjoram leaves , chopped
a handful of fresh parsley chopped
leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
Serve with or in ribollita *oil and garlic pan toasted bread slices (crusty Italian or ciabatta)
To make toast add 4 tablespoons EVOO to a sauté pan add two cloves sliced garlic, heat garlic until fragrant, don’t burn, Remove garlic and toast bread slices on both sides, put aside to serve with soup.
Add EVOO to a soup pot sauté pancetta until crispy add celery, chard stems, garlic and sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Deglaze with wine, add vegetables, herbs, tomatoes, vegetable stock, beans, and cheese rind. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to low, simmer for 40-6 minutes or until chard stalks are tender. Serve hot…you can serve the toast with the soup of course, but you can also add a taste to soup bowl and pour a little broth over to soften the bread.