This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Ribollita

Food

Ribollita is a famous hearty Italian soup, traditionally made with day-old bread, cannellini beans and vegetables. Julia first discovered and fell in love with this Tuscan dish during her time spent living and studying in Florence a few years ago. Today she shares her take on the ultimate one-bowl comfort food.

14th April, 2015

Ribollita ingredients. Chopping board by Little Lumberjack.  Recipe – Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Styling – Natalie Turnbull, Photo – Eve Wilson.

Ribollita for two! Handmade plates by Jessilla Rogers. Cutipol matte gold cutlery from Francalia, dot napkin from Gorman. Recipe – Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Styling – Natalie Turnbull, Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro
Tuesday 14th April 2015

A few years ago I spent some time studying in Italy, and one wintry afternoon, I stumbled across a place called Nerbone in the markets in Florence. In between going to school in the morning and going to bars for aperitivo in the evenings, I would usually just wander the streets until dusk, taking in the magic of this historic city and hoping to find new places to inspire me. Sometimes it would be a gallery, more than often not, a hole-in-the-wall ‘paninoteca’ (sandwich shop).

On this afternoon, it was Nerbone, a bustling stand in the middle of the food markets, where they have been serving up some of the best roast beef panini and lampredotto (traditional tripe sandwich – although I could never bring myself to eat this one!) as well as an ever-changing menu of rustic, no fuss Florentine dishes since 1872. Wine served in tumblers, communal tables and a whole lot of chaos – it was probably my most visited lunch spot. If you were lucky, Ribollita was on the menu.

Literally meaning ‘reboiled’, Ribollita is a traditional hearty Italian soup that utilises classic Tuscan ingredients like pancetta (which can be omitted if you’re a vegetarian), bread and cannellini beans – it’s certainly robust and not for the faint-hearted. It’s even better the next day, and is my go-to comfort food on a chilly evening. The key to making this soup super tasty, is in the sweating off of the aromatics. You want to have the pot on a really low heat and take your time (I normally allow fifteen minutes to ensure the soup has really nice base flavours). Also, crusty day-old bread and good quality olive oil is equally important to ensure your Ribollita has the right texture from the bread, and an unmistakable spikey freshness which a nice extra virgin olive gives.

 

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

 

Extra virgin olive oil

120g flat pancetta, cut into lardons

1 carrot, finely diced

2 sticks of celery, finely diced

1 onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

4 fresh bay leaves

½ tsp dried chilli flakes (or to your liking)

500ml chicken stock

800g tinned whole or crushed tomatoes

1 bunch cavolo nero

425g tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

½ loaf day-old crusty bread

To Serve

Parmesan cheese, grated

Extra virgin olive oil

Method

Heat a few lugs of olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the pancetta, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves and chilli flakes and sauté for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want them to be translucent and soft, but not coloured.

Add the stock, 500ml water and the tomatoes. Leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile you want to begin to prepare the cavolo nero. Only the leaves and very young stems will go into the soup, so trim the cavolo nero, discarding the woody large stems. Wash the leaves really well (the curly leaves are perfect hideaways for little critters) and chop roughly. Add the cavolo nero and the beans to the soup and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Roughly tear the bread and place in the soup, making sure the pieces are covered. At this point, the soup will be really thick, so if you like it with a bit more liquid, add some more stock or water. Cook for just a few minutes or until the bread has softened. Check for seasoning and add a little sea salt and/or pepper.

Serve into bowls with parmesan cheese and lashings of extra olive oil.

 

View Comments

Similar Stories

Food

Julia's Miso Salmon Bowl With Udon Noodles And Crunchy Greens

The onset of winter means we're back in comfort food mode – and this warm miso salmon bowl hits all the right notes!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Food

Julia's Epic Lemon & Raspberry Layer Cake

This nostalgic fruity butter cake from Julia Busuttil Nishimura is easier than it looks!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

This Week

Gardens

Three Trees + A Pool - The Love Story Of A Wild-Looking, Natural Garden

Mcnuttndorff Landscapes tamed this rambling Fairfield garden around a new pool and three majestic eucalypts!

Art

The Secret Mystical Paintings of International Art Sensation, Hilma af Klint

The visionary Swedish artist’s enormous colourful artworks were hidden from the world for decades. Now, they are on show at Art Gallery of...

Interiors

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Interior Designer

What does an interior designer do, and how much does a residential project cost? Here's everything you need to know, with info from leading

Homes

An Interior Designer’s Mini Converted Warehouse That Feels Like Home

In past lives, this little converted warehouse in Fitzroy has been a secret bar and a photographic studio. Now, it’s the charming rental h...

News

Cute Handmade Aprons For Tiny Chefs!

Little Linens sell patterned aprons designed, printed and hand-sewn from a kitchen table in Melbourne!
Sasha Aarons

Architecture

An Architecture Power Couple’s Extraordinary Concrete Home

Inside 'La Scala’ – the contemporary, concrete Brisbane home of architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence, co-founders of Richards an...

Shopping

The Aboriginal-Owned Homewares Brand Bringing First Nations Art To Homes + Classrooms Across Australia!

Bundjalung/Minjungbal woman Emma Rolls of Emro Designs shares her collection of rugs, cushions and soon-to-be-released picnic mats featuring...

Gardens

A Vacant Cow Paddock Turned Relaxed Australian Country Garden

Weeds and camphor are replaced by lush natives, a veggie garden and a hilltop plunge pool in this country garden by Fig Landscapes.

Interiors

A Peaceful, Pastel Transformation Of A Petite Art Deco Apartment

Rosanna Ceravolo creates a new, sympathetic interior personality for a two-bedroom flat in the leafy suburb of South Yarra.

Creative People

Andalusian-Inspired Lampshades, Handwoven In Sydney

Lana Launay makes her textured light covers from natural materials such as coffee-stained raffia, coconut shell rope and bamboo yarn.

Shopping

Seven Local Kids Design Brands We Can’t Get Enough Of!

Seven of our favourite local kids brands, and where to find them!
Amelia Barnes
  3 hours ago

Architecture

A Bushy Family Home That Brings The Outdoors In

You'd never know that this clever home by Anthrosite Architects shields its occupants from a busy motorway on one side of the house.

News

Laminex Extend Their Epic Colour Collection With These On-Trend Hues

The heritage Australian company adds seventeen new ‘decors’ to its offering, including warm earthy shades, stone-look textures + woodgra...
Sponsored
2.02

Art en Route

A Visit to the Blue Mountains with Jono Fleming, and Ford Puma

Sydney stylist Jono Fleming is our tour guide for a dreamy day trip to the Blue Mountains, in the new Ford Puma!
Lucy Feagins
  11 hours ago

Architecture

An Architect’s Reworking Of Sir Roy Grounds’ Former Balmain Home

A heritage 1970s house in Balmain once owned by Sir Roy Grounds has been its re-engineered by its present owner, architect Conrad Johnston o...

Similar Stories

Food

Julia's Miso Salmon Bowl With Udon Noodles And Crunchy Greens

The onset of winter means we're back in comfort food mode – and this warm miso salmon bowl hits all the right notes!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Food

Julia's Epic Lemon & Raspberry Layer Cake

This nostalgic fruity butter cake from Julia Busuttil Nishimura is easier than it looks!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.