Acquacotta "Cooked Water" PRINT
- YIELD: 6 servings
As a regional dish, acquacotta has many variations. Ingredients change depending upon the bounty of the season, the locality and the cook who makes it. This version of acquacotta is from the Maremma region of Tuscany and includes a poached egg, which adds a wonderfully rich layer of flavor once you break the yolk and mix it into the broth. A Northern Italian soup whose name translates to “cooked water.”
|8 to 10||oz. dried porcini mushrooms|
|½ yellow onion, chopped|
|2||stalks celery, chopped|
|5 to 6||basil leaves, chopped|
|¹∕³ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped|
|¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for toasting the bread|
|1||Tbsp. tomato paste|
|1||28-oz. can peeled stewed tomatoes|
|½ tsp. red pepper flakes|
|1½ to 2 tsp. salt|
|Freshly cracked black pepper to taste|
|1||lb. fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped|
|2||14-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained|
|1||Tbsp. white vinegar|
|Loaf of white country bread|
|Parmesan cheese, shredded|
• Rehydrate the mushrooms according to package instructions. Drain, reserving the water, and roughly chop. Set aside.
• Remove the green portion of the leek and chop the remaining white. Add the leeks, onion, celery, basil and parsley to a food processor and purée.
• Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large stockpot. Add the leek purée and sweat the mixture over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to sweat until the mixture starts to dry up and stick to the pan.
• Add the tomato paste and let it toast a bit, about 2 to 3 minutes. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the pot with the can juices.
• Add the red pepper flakes and simmer the soup for a few minutes.
• Add the water, the reserved water from rehydrating the mushrooms, salt and black pepper to taste. Add the spinach, mushrooms and beans and bring to a boil.
• Once the soup reaches a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.
• Set the oven to broil and bring a pot of water with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a simmer.
• While the water is heating, slice the bread into 6 pieces about ½-inch thick. Place the slices on a baking sheet, brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle heavily with Parmesan. Broil until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly toasted.
• Crack one egg into a small bowl. When the water reaches a low simmer, create a funnel in the water with a spoon.
• Quickly add the egg into the funneled water and let it poach for about 2 minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and carefully place it into a single-serving soup bowl. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
• Gently ladle the soup over each poached egg. Top with one piece of the cheese toast and serve.