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Bordatino from Livorno Recipe

Preparation time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Expense: 6 euros

bordatino-livorno-recipeThe history of this recipe is interesting, as it not only traces back the cooking procedure, but also the origin of its unusual name. The bordatino was a salvage food dish made with the leftovers from the previous day. It finds its origins in the poor tradition of Livorno. The weekly menu of the peasant was quite repetitive: the day after red beans were cooked, on the table one could be sure to find bordatino, utilizing the broth they produced during the cooking. After obtaining a quite liquid polenta (boiled cornmeal) mixing yellow cornmeal in a pot of boiling water, the thick red beans cooking broth was added. Continuing to mix in the ingredients formed a twirl of lines. In the thick mass of polenta the dark bean broth during the first few minutes created the lines that gave the recipe the name of bordatino. Bordatino, indeed, was a striped cotton fabric, also known as rigatino, used to make the aprons of peddlers, shopkeepers, and peasant women.

Ingredients:
- 700 grams of fresh garbanzo red beans
- 200 grams cornmeal
- 100 grams olive oil
- a small kale
- one tablespoon of tomato sauce
- one onion, celery, garlic and carrots
- a handful of minced parsley
- salt to taste

Preparation:
The modern preparation is slightly different. Remove the beans from the pod and cook them through boiling. Once they are well cooked, mash them thoroughly and add back their cooking water. Before adding the broth to the beans, take care to measure the quantity. Add enough fresh water to the broth to get to almost two liters of liquid (half gallon).
Salt to taste and bring to a boil. Then add the kale cut in stripes. Mince an onion, a carrot, a stalk of celery, a garlic clove, along with a handful of parsley. Pour the veggies in a pan, add the oil and let cook slowly for a long time, until they are almost a mash. Then add a teaspoon of tomato sauce (or two small peeled and chopped juicy tomatoes); leave on the heat for 5 more minutes then add the vegetables to the beans.
Mix in and bring to a boil, add the cornmeal slowly, always stirring with a wooden spoon, cooking it for half an hour. Buon appetito!

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