Ribollita | Bean Vegetable Soup www.tastetrailsrome.com Italian cooking courses

Ribollita | Bean Vegetable Soup www.tastetrailsrome.com Italian cooking courses


Cooking Holidays Italy recipe : Ribollita. Rustic vegetable bean soup


This recipe is NOT something that will be part of Taste Trails Rome | cooking holidays Italy , but is a wonderfully simple , rustic and nutritious autumn / winter supper.



Serves 8

1 bunch of kale, cut into 2-inch ribbons
1 head of cabbage, cut into 2-inch ribbons
1 bunch of Swiss chard, cut into 2-inch ribbons
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes
2 courgettes, diced
1 Stalk of celery, diced
2 leeks - white parts only, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 cups of cooked cannellini beans, half pureed
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, + more for finishing
½ teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
Leaves of 1 sprig of thyme
Fine sea salt to taste
Up to 2 cups of stale bread , cubed.

Cooking Instructions

Place the olive oil, leeks, and garlic into a large pot over a low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks and garlic are softened - about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened - about 8 minutes. Add the potatoes and courgettes and cook, stirring, until softened - 8 more minutes.  Now add the kale, cabbage, and chard, and cook stirring until the greens are very soft - 8 minutes. Stir in the chilli flakes.

Add the tomatoes and their juice, break the tomatoes up. Add 2 quarts of water, the bay leaf, thyme, and beans. Season to taste with salt.

Bring to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender -  30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Add the bread to the soup, and simmer until the bread is breaking apart and the soup becomes very thick - 10 minutes. Let the soup rest off the heat for several minutes, and then ladle into warmed bowls. Drizzle a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over each portion before serving.


Cooking Holidays Italy recipe : Crostata alla Marmellata 

Jam tarts are classic Italian desserts. Every home baker and her nonna has a favorite recipe, often using homemade jam created with ripe fruit from the orto, or garden.


Yield: 12 slices

2 Jars of jam, any flavour
¼ cup apricot jam (optional), for glazing
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, + more for rolling dough
¼ sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces, + more for pan
1 egg yolk
1 pinch of fine sea salt

Cooking Instructions

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl, and mix well. Scatter the butter on top and, with a pastry cutter or your fingers, squeeze the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg yolk, and stir thoroughly with the fork again until combined. 

To make the crust with a food processor, place the dry ingredients in the bowl fitted with the metal blade. Pulse together, add the butter, and then pulse 4 to 6 times again, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg yolk, and process just until the dough forms a ball.

Shape the dough into a fat disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

When you’re ready to bake the tart, preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter either an 8- or 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or an 8-by-8-inch square pan, and set aside.

Place the dough on a lightly-floured work surface. Cut off about one third of the dough, rewrap it in plastic, and set aside. (Refrigerate if your kitchen is warm.) Roll the two-thirds of the dough ¼ to ½ inch thick in a circle or square about 1 inch larger than your pan. If the dough resists, let it relax for a few minutes and come back to it. Wrap the rolled dough around the rolling pin, transfer it to the pan, and unfold it into the pan. Press it against the bottom and sides of the pan.

Cut off a small piece of dough from the remaining piece and, with your hands, roll it into a ½-inch rope on the work surface. Place the rope around the perimeter of the pan on top of the rolled dough. Return the remaining dough, wrapped in plastic, to the refrigerator.

Line the crust with foil, fill with dried beans or pie weights, and bake until the crust is set and matte, about 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven, and allow it to cool slightly. In the meantime, increase the heat to 400°F. When the crust is cool enough to handle, spread the 2 cups of jam in it in an even layer. Lightly flour the work surface, and roll out the remaining dough to the shape of the pan but 1 inch larger all around, between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Cut this into ½-inch to 1-inch wide strips for the top lattice. Place alternating strips on top of the tart, attaching the ends to the rope of dough that you created earlier. Arrange the remaining strips at an angle to the first strips, again attaching them to the rope of dough. Lattice made!

Now, bake your tart until the lattice strips are golden and dry, for 15 to 20 minutes.

If using the glaze, while the tart is baking, combine the apricot jam with 2 taablespoons of water in a small pot. Heat over low heat and whisk to combine, then stran out any chunks of fruit. While the tart is still warm, brush the lattice strips with the glaze. Cool completely on a rack, and serve at room temperature to your lucky guests.



Cooking holiday Italy recipe : Pizza dough

Longing for the charred crust of the perfect pizza napoletana? If master the basic recipe for fresh pizza dough - with practice you will and then you can enjoy the dish in the comfort of your own home anytime. 

Remember toppings are endless and limited only to your imagination !


Makes 4 12" pizzas

400 Mil Ltrs room temperature water
650 grams (5 cups) type ' 00 ' flour
15 grams (1½ tablespoons) fresh yeast
25 grams (1½ tablespoons) of salt
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed


Prep time 30 Mins

Pour the water and salt into the electric mixer bowl, and mix on high for 1 minute. Crumble the fresh yeast into the liquid, and let it mix for another 60-90 seconds. Turn the mixer down to medium, and slowly add the flour. Finally, let the dough mix on a medium to low setting for 11-14 minutes.

With floured hands, take the dough out of the mixer, and place it into a lightly-floured bowl. Now form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl, and let it rest for 45-60 minutes.

With floured hands, remove the dough, and break into 250-gram pieces (about ¼ of the dough each). Using your hands, roll the pieces of dough into round balls. Cover the balls of dough and let them rise for another 45-60 minutes.

When the dough has risen, oil 4 (12-inch) baking pans.

Dust the dough with flour, and begin to knead it open with your hands. While opening the dough, be sure to leave the outermost inch untouched to ensure a nice and airy “cornicione,” or crust.

Lay the opened dough out in the baking pan. You now have the base for your pizza!



Cooking holidays Italy recipe : Frittelle di Carnevale

An Italian Carnevale  is a time of great celebration and feasting that culminates on Martedi Grasso (Fat Tuesday / Pancake Tuesday ) the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. 

Carnevale is celebrated in many different ways through out the country and if you’re in Italy during this time , there will be plenty of sweet fried dough to enjoy. And if you are not then why try these at home and bring a little piece of the Italian Carnevale to you.


Serves 24 pieces

4 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
4 large eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of whole milk at room temperature
Fine sea salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting.


Prep time 45 mins

Sift together the flour and baking powder, and put to one side.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and frothy. Add the sugar, and beat until light yellow. Add the milk and a pinch of salt, and beat to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture, whisking constantly. This mixture should form a very tender dough.

Lightly flour a work surface, and roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch.  With a pizza wheel, knife, or fpastry cutter, cut the dough into rectangles, strips, or any shape you like.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fill a deep stockpot with 8 inches of the oil  and place over a medium heat. Bring the oil to 350°F, try to maintain the temperature as you fry the dough.

Drop 4 or 5 pieces of dough into the oil, and fry until golden, about 2 minutes. As they are ready, remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared baking sheet to drain. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve warm or at room temperature.


Cooking Holiday Italy recipe : Bruschetta

Depending how the weather has been during the year in Sabina , the olive harvest will be in full swing around October and November and the countryside is full with little tractors going to and fro laiden with olives ready for pressing at the mill, resulting in unbelievable quality first press extra virgin olive oil . When the harvest is finished the hill top villages take turns in celebrating the end of the harvest with a festa and bruschetta is devoured with the new season liquid gold and the taste and the texture of the new season olive oil is discussed in much the same way as a fine wine , the flavours are just as complex. 

One of Europe's oldest olive trees is to be found in Fara , around two thousand years old and the countryside is full of olive trees and it has been that way for the last two thousand years , so it's safe to say the Sabine's know a thing or two about olive oil !

Both Giacomo and Franco produce annually fine extra virgin olive oils.


4 large slices of bread, rustic / crusty
14 oz tomatoes
3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic
4-5 basil leaves, + more to garnish
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Instruction

Dice the tomatoes and place in a large strainer. Salt the tomatoes generously and thoroughly combine to coat all  with salt.

Place the strainer on a plate or in a bowl and allow to rest for 15–20 minutes, shaking occasionally to encourage the liquids to expel. While not fundamental, this firms up the tomato flesh and makes it easier to release the pulp and seeds.

Empty the excess liquid away and gently shake the strainer (over the sink) to filter out the seeds. 

Taste a piece of the tomato. If still too salty, sprinkle with a small amount of water and shake again.

Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil. Shred the basil leaves and finely grate in ½ to 1 garlic clove. Grind in some black pepper and combine thoroughly.

Grill or toast the bread slices until golden on both sides. Scoop the tomato onto each slice and garnish with additional basil. Rub the slices with the remaining garlic clove before adding the tomato.


Cooking holidays Italy recipe | Affogato

Affogato - Gelato ' Drowned ' in Espresso.

Is this the world's most delicious simple pick-me-up? The affogato, gelato “drowned” in espresso. The next time you experience a midday lull or need a last-minute dessert, turn to this Italian classic, which will take both your coffee and dessert breaks to another level.

Make with as many scoops of gelato and espresso as you need .


Seves 1 

1 scoop of vanilla or gelato
¼ cup of hot espresso


Prep time 3 Mins

Scoop the gelato into a serving bowl, glass, or coffee cup.

Pour the espresso over the gelato.

Serve immediately.

As simple as that. 

I'm sure you'll want another !

Check out our other Cooking holidays Italy recipes 

On a Taste Trails Rome | Cooking holidays Italy. In general what we cook in the lessons depends on the time of the year and what is in season . We try and use only fresh , local and if possible organic ingredients .

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