Great food is more than just a meal,
It’s who you’re with and how you feel.

This soup was rustic, tasty, fine,
Great friends to share with made it divine.:)

This is Jamie Oliver’s Recipe for Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup with Sage Butter.  It is comforting and filling, and perfect for a winter’s night.  I made very few changes to the recipe.  I used anchovy paste instead of fillets, which I added after the bacon was adequately cooked.  After all the cheese (I’m sure I used more than the recipe called for) I could not bring myself to add butter on top of it all.  I’m sure it would have been lovely but I can assure you it was delicious without the butter.

As Jamie suggests, I layered this soup in a casserole dish but, if I were to do it again, I would prepare it in separate ramekins.

After layering, I would suggest keeping any leftover broth –  you may need extra to serve with each bowl.

Thanks to Gina at BowlLicker for so much fun in the kitchen.


  • 3 quarts good-quality chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Savoy cabbage, stalks removed, outer leaves separated, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 big handfuls cavolo nero and/or kale, stalks removed, leaves washed
  • and roughly chopped
  • About 16 slices stale country-style or sourdough bread
  • 1 clove garlic, unpeeled, cut in 1/2
  • Olive oil
  • 12 to 14 slices pancetta or bacon
  • 1 (4-ounce) can anchovy fillets, in oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 7 ounces fontina cheese, grated
  • 5 ounces freshly grated Parmesan, plus a little for serving
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Couple large knobs butter
  • Small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and add the cabbage, cavolo nero and/or kale. Cook for a few minutes until softened (you may have to do this in 2 batches). Remove the cabbage to a large bowl, leaving the stock in the pan.

Toast all but 5 of the bread slices on a hot griddle pan or in a toaster, then rub them on 1 side with the garlic halves, and set aside.

Next, heat a large 4-inch-deep ovenproof casserole-type pan on the stove top, pour in a couple of glugs of olive oil and add your pancetta and anchovies. When the pancetta is golden brown and sizzling, add the rosemary and cooked cabbage and toss to coat the greens in all the lovely flavors. Put the mixture and all the juices back into the large bowl.

Place 4 of the toasted slices in the casserole-type pan, in 1 layer. Spread over 1/3 of the cabbage leaves, sprinkle over a 1/4 of the grated fontina and Parmesan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Repeat this twice, but don’t stress if your pan’s only big enough to take layers – that’s fine. Just pour in all the juices remaining in the bowl and end with a layer of untoasted bread on top. Push down on the layers with your hands.

Pour the stock gently over the top until it just comes up to the top layer. Push down again and sprinkle over the remaining fontina and Parmesan. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle over some good-quality olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until crispy and golden on top.

When the soup is ready, divide it between your bowls. Melt the butter in a frying pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until they’re just crisp and the butter is lightly golden (not burned!). Spoon a bit of the flavored butter and sage leaves over the soup and add another grating of Parmesan. Such a great combo!

Potato, Onion, Gruyere Tart


Bought too many fingerlings,
What should I do with all these things?

Slice ’em up into a tart,
That sounds like a decent start.

Add sweet onions, caramelize,
Gruyere will make this tart a prize.

Bake it ’til there’s golden crust,
Rosemary sprinkle is a must.

Slice it up and serve it warm,
Careful ‘cuz your guests will swarm.:)

My friend, Sara, from OneTribeGourmet, inspired me to make this tart when she posted a pissaladiere just like this but with different ingredients. I made her recipe and it was so good I thought I would make one of my own. Any potatoes will do, although I think Yukon Gold would be best. I just happened to have fingerlings on hand.

Potato, Onion, Gruyere Tart
8 Fingerlings or 4 Yukon Gold (medium-sized) potatoes, sliced thinly
1 sweet Vidalia onion (medium-sized), sliced thinly
2 tsp. fresh rosemary (and some extra for garnish)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. coarse pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1 egg yolk + 1 tsp. water, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add potatoes, onions, rosemary, salt, and pepper to a saute pan coated with olive oil. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender. Set aside.

Roll out the puff pastry to the length and width of the tart pan and transfer it on top of the pan. Fill the pan’s wedges in with the dough. With a fork, prick the dough all over the bottom and sides. Brush the pastry with the egg wash.

Fill the tart pan with the potato and onion mixture and top it with the Gruyere. Place it into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Garnish with chopped rosemary.  Slice and serve warm.

Bresaola, Burrata & Golden Beets


Bresaola, Burrata & Beets

I have to visit Italy,
But not to dive into the sea.

I don’t even want to go,
To see Michelangelo.

With my conscience I will grapple,
Cuz I won’t see the Sistine Chapel.

I don’t want to stand in line,
To see any ancient shrine.

I’m sure to miss the Colosseum,
And Uffizi’s fine museum.

It’s all about what I can taste,
I won’t worry ’bout my waist.

Pizza, pasta, wine and cheese.
Oil that comes from olive trees.

Like this here Italian snack,
That you pile into a stack.

A simple fresh baguette will do,
One that’s crunchy when you chew.

Start with paper-thin cured meat,
Add a slice of golden beet,

Top it with some creamy cheese,
This deserves a Master’s frieze. 


The idea for this recipe came from a local Inn and Restaurant, Wine & Roses. If you have the best ingredients, this combination is delicious! The bresaola, found at any fine deli, should be sliced very thinly. Italian burrata, basically a cream-filled mozzarella, is very creamy and flavorful. If you cannot find an Italian burrata, there are some very high-quality American ones too.

1/4 lb. bresaola (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup burrata
3 golden beets, peeled, cooked and thinly sliced
2 pears, optional
Extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt
1 loaf crunchy bread, cut into bite-size pieces

Golden Beets


Add beets to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes or until tender. Check for readiness with a fork. Set aside to cool in refrigerator. When cool, cut into thin slices.
On a serving platter, lay out the bresaola, beets (pears) and bread. In the center of the platter, add the burrata. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt beets.