Tuscan Recipe Acquacotta from Maremma

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TAcquacotta (literally “cooked water”). It is a dish from the Maremma lands of Tuscany, a very energetic soup prepared by lumberjacks during their work in the woods. The original recipe included much fewer ingredients, in fact only those that could be easily carried around in the woods without spoiling. For the original version you should exclude chickpeas, Swiss chard, celery, Parmesan cheese and even olive oil. Instead of the oil the dish was prepared only using a piece of pigskin with lard, with which the cooking pot was grease rubbed prior to starting the preparation of the recipe on a bonfire.
You can try both versions then choose the ingredients and the recipe that best suits your tastes.

Ingredients: Four large yellow onions, three celery stalks, four tomatoes, two-day-old Tuscan bread loaf, half liter of beef broth, five leaves of swiss chard, 100 grams of cooked chickpeas, 50 grams of grated Parmesan Cheese, 4 eggs, olive oil, salt, pepper, red chili pepper.

Divide the onions in half and cut them into thin slices, then slice the celery with two chili peppers and saute in a little olive oil. Now add a pinch of salt and the diced tomatoes.

When the celery has withered gradually start adding the meat stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes then add the chopped Swiss chard leaves and let it cook for a few minutes. Now add the chickpeas, then add thin bread slices on the bottom of each serving bowl, then sprinkle it with half the Parmesan cheese.

Go back to your soup and open one by one all the eggs inside the boiling broth. Be careful not to break the yolk and try to keep all the white together. Also avoid the eggs to stick together, which is easily accomplished if you allow a few seconds between each egg. Cook only a minute or two, as the yolk has to remain raw. Serve immediately.

With a ladle pour the broth over the bread and then add an egg to each plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pepper. Let rest for a few minutes so the bread absorbs in the broth.

Prior to eating the soup, let each person know that they should break the yolk with their fork and gently mix it with the broth and the bread prior to enjoying their Acquacotta soup.