Ribollita is one of the most traditional Tuscan dishes out there. Made with stale, unsalted bread, vegetables and beans, it’s a hearty and vitamin-filled soup that has been eaten by farmers for centuries in our region. It’s part of cucina povera, or poor cuisine, since it’s traditionally made of leftovers and whatever one had around.
By contrast, the macaron is representative of French haute cuisine or patisserie. Recently it’s moved from sweet to salty, and chefs everywhere are experimenting with them.
Here at Dievole we’ve invented the ribollita macaron. A clash of high and low cuisines that totally works, exalting the flavours of the ingredients and pairing beautifully with our Chianti Classico. Set aside an afternoon to make it, for the ribollita macarons recipe is rather complex, though will knock the socks off your guests!
Ribollita Macarons Recipe
makes 35 pieces
For the macarons
- 150g egg whites (about 5 eggs)
- 200g almond flour
- 200g icing sugar
- 200g refined (granulated) sugar
- 75g water at room temperature
- 5g salt
For the ribollita
- 350g dry cannellini beans
- 20 g extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 stem of rosemary
- 2 litres of water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Thinly sliced raw red onions for serving
- 250g savoy cabbage
- 300g kale
- 300g beet greens
- 220g stale tuscan bread
- 25g extra virgin olive oil
- 180g canned peeled tomatoes
- 1 potato
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 100g celery
- salt, pepper, thyme and hot pepper to taste
Prepare the ribollita
Start by preparing the ribollita. The dried beans must be soaked in water overnight, or even better, for 24 hours. Afterwards, remove the beans from the water, heat the olive oil in a skillet with garlic and rosemary, add the beans, cover with water and cook at medium-low heat with a cover on the pot. When cooking is complete, add salt and pepper (salt is added at the end so as not to harden the beans) and remove the rosemary branch. Take about half of the beans and blend them with an immersion blender – this will become a broth that you’ll use to cook the soup.
Next we’ll make the soffritto or base: peel and finely chop the onion, carrot and celery, and sautée in olive oil in a frying pan. Peel the potato and cut into small cubes, add this to the soffritto. Add the canned peeled tomatoes and squash them with a fork. Wash and chop the green vegetables (cabbage, kale, beet leaves). Then cover with the bean mash and some additional liquid, cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper at the end. Then add about half of the remaining whole beans, keeping aside about 90 beans for serving.
Chop the stale bread into small cubes and place them on the bottom of an oven-proof container, add a few ladles full of the soup, then more bread, and more soup, alternating to finish the ingredients. Let it sit at room temperature, then put in the fridge covered in plastic wrap for at least 2 hours. In this time, the bread will absorb all the soup and the ribollita will seem semi-solid. Pour this into a pot and bring it to a boil, add thyme and hot pepper. Now your ribollita would be ready to serve as-is, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top. Or, in this case, proceed to making it into ribollita macarons…
Prepare the macaron shells
While we wait, let’s make the macarons. Start by preparing their crust. Use a fine sifter and sift together the almond flour and the icing sugar. Add 75g of the egg whites and mix the ingredients with a cake spatula until smooth. Put aside.
In a food mixer, add the remaining 75g of egg whites and beat to a firm peak. In a pot, combine water and granulated sugar, and mix with a wooden spoon until absorbed, bring to 118 degrees celsius (using a kitchen thermometer). Combine the warm sugar mixture with the beaten egg whites, mixing constantly. Fold this mixture into the almond flour mixture. Transfer to pastry bag with a 10mm spout, and create small 2cm rounds on a silicon- or paper-lined baking sheet. You should get 70 disks. Softly tap the bottom of the tray to make them spread flat a bit. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then bake at an oven (preferably not ventilated) heated to 160 degrees celsius for 12-13 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Assemble the ribollita macarons
Take a part of the ribollita aside and blend it, adding 10g of gelatin, and put it into a pastry bag, let it chill in the fridge. This is your “ribollita mousse” which you will use in the middle of the macarons.
Prepare the plates: Take two macaron halves and fill with ribollita mousse. Display on the plate with a few whole beans, finely sliced raw red onion, and drizzled with Dievole Chianti Classico DOP extra virgin olive oil.