Last night's was dinner really good.It was soup. I wish that the name was a little bit more creative, but I really liked the soup. The name sounds better in Italian. It is called "Acquacotta". Doesn't that sound better? It could have been worse. Much worse! At least I didn't serve "Strozzapreti". That translates to Priest stranglers! Don't worry, it's only a shape of pasta. Even the food can be dramatic in Italy, with the exception of my poor Cooked Water evidently. Ugh! Now who's being dramatic? (I was born there. I can't help myself.)
Acquacotta is native to the Lazio region of Italy. It is traditional peasant food. It is one of those recipes that you will look at and say "How could this possibly be good? There's hardly anything in it." It is amazing what hungry people created out of nothing. Look to any culture and you will find similar dishes.
Acquacotta feeds 4 generously
(adapted from a recipe by Julia della Croce)
3 qts vegetable broth or water (or chicken broth)
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large handful chives, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped thin (I don't like this so I don't use it)
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and lightly smashed
2 potatoes, diced small
a few sprigs thyme
5 basil leaves
Bring everything to a boil together and lower. Simmer until the potatoes are al dente.
1 bunch arugula, chopped
Cook for another 20 minutes or so. They will become part of the soup instead of floating around like they don't belong.
2 slices peasant bread per person (a few days old)
Fantastic Olive Oil
Put 2 slices of the stale bread in the bottom of each bowl and pour a few tablespoonfuls of olive oil over the bread. Ladle on the soup and sprinkle on some Romano.