Acquacotta is a dish whose origins hail from the herdsman and shepards of the Maremma region of Tuscany.
By Kathy Bechtel
Here’s the version I created, flavored with what I had on hand. I chose to include the onion, rather than serve it on the side. I served it over duck eggs that I poached in the soup itself.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 12 stalks asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, one peeled and minced, one just peeled
- 3 tablespoons aromatic herbs (mint, basil, celery leaves)
- 4 kale leaves, thick stem removed and chopped
- ½ cup dried mushrooms, rinsed, and chopped if large
- ¼ cup grated pecorino
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 6 cups hot water
- 4 slices of bread, toasted
- 4 eggs
- Heat the olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat, add the onion and asparagus and sauté until soft and starting to brown, about 4 or 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, herbs, and kale. Cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
- Add the mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of the pecorino, tomato puree and water. Bring to a simmer, and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Rub the toasted bread slices with the peeled clove of garlic, and place into 4 bowls. Drizzle each slice of bread with olive oil.
- Gently break the eggs into the simmering broth – it may be easiest to break them one at a time into a tea cup and slip them into the broth. Poach for 2 minutes. Remove the eggs, and place each in a bowl on top of the bread. Ladle a small amount of acquacotta into each bowl to cover the bread. Allow to sit for a minute or so, allowing the bread to soak up the soup.
- Finish ladling the remainder of the soup over the egg and bread. Sprinkle each with the remaining grated cheese and herbs, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve.