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ACQUA COTTA - Speciality of Tuscany

ACQUA COTTA - Speciality of Tuscany

For 6 servings:

  • ½ pound escarole
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups finely diced onions
  • 2 cups finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 6 slices Tuscan Bread or other peasant style bread
  • 1 or 2 whole cloves garlic
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus rind

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the escarole for about 1 minute, until barely wilted. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the escarole to a bowl of cold water for a few seconds, shake off excess water and transfer to a plate. Set aside.

In a large stockpot, heat the ¼ cup of oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes, sage, rosemary, parsley and cook, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add the tomatoes and cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until the tomatoes are so soft they fall apart. Add 5 cups of water, the escarole, the peppers, and the cheese rind, bring to a simmer over medium to high heat, and cook for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Meanwhile, toast the bread until lightly browned and then rub the slices with the whole garlic cloves. Put a slice of toast in each of 6 serving bowls. Reduce the heat to medium, so that the liquid is gently simmering. Carefully crack 1 egg into a cup, keeping the yolk whole. Slide the egg into the simmering liquid using a small strainer as support. Repeat with the remaining eggs, cooking each egg for 2 to 3 minutes, until poached.

As it poaches, lift each egg using the strainer from the pot and position it on a piece of toast. Ladle some of the hot broth and vegetables over each. Drizzle each with 1 teaspoon of the extra virgin olive oil and garnish with grated cheese.