A hearty, old-fashioned dish designed to repurpose stale bread, stombauta is a meatless meal that’s filling and inexpensive to make. To turn this into a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|4||stalks celery, chopped|
|1||medium onion, chopped|
|1||leek, coarsely chopped|
|3||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|1||bunch fresh parsley, stemmed and chopped|
|2||cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed|
|1||can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed in a bowl|
|1||cup chicken stock|
|2||cups day-old crusty Italian bread cut into roughly 1-inch cubes|
|Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)|
|1||bunch fresh basil, stemmed and chopped|
|Freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)|
2. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the celery, onion, and leek. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
3. Add the cabbage, parsley, beans, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
4. Stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the bread cubes with the remaining 1/2 cup stock and enough olive oil to coat it lightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bread, stirring often, for 20 minutes or unitl it is dry and golden.
7. Add the bread a few pieces at a time to the bean mixture. Stir in the basil. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and serve with Parmesan. Ike DeLorenzo