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A Pane Cotto ..the Harmony of Autumn…

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There is a harmony
In autumn, and a luster in its sky…
~Percy Bysshe Shelley


copyright 2013 Maria Liberati,Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc.

One  day  of the  week was always reserved for bread baking in most homes in Italy. From sunrise the loaves were kneaded and then left to rest and rise! The bread would be eaten all week and used and reused in so many delicious ways….

Bruschetta makes use of crusty bread that is day old..but it has become a new,  almost chic thing to make with so many ingredients. Years ago, Pane Cotto (literally means cooked bread) was invented as a recipe to make use of crusty day old bread.  And it too, is becoming fashionable to make.

Today, with the chill of Autumn here, Pane Cotto comes to mind..a dish that soothes the stomach and the soul..and takes away the chill of Autumn. This is a traditional soup from Abruzzo. The Tuscan version is known as Acquacotto and is similar. Either way they are sure to become one of your favorite comfort foods for a chilly autumn evening.

First get some authentic, crusty, day old bread……..


Pane Cotto

1/2 lb cauliflower (florets only)

2 ounces pancetta (optional)
1/2 medium onion

1/4 lb carrots

1/4 lb celery

1/2 lb potatoes

1/4 lb fresh zucchini

1/4 lb white beans

1/2 lb of red, ripe tomatoes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lb of crusty day old bread

2 garlic cloves

pinch of thyme


pinch of red pepper

sage leaf

Soak white beans overnight. Cook them in 8 cups boiling water with  1 tblsp olive oil, garlic cloves, sage leaf, cook till beans are tender but still al dente.

Wash remaining veggies and peel and cut into large cubes. In a large frying pan, place in pancetta and onion chopped finely. add in chopped veggies and saute for 10 minutes. Add in tomatoes that have been seeded and cut and lastly add in white beans  with cooking water. Cook till veggies are tender.

Cut bread into large cubes. Place under broiler til golden. Place soup in large soup pot and place in bread. Let sit for an hour. reheat to medium heat and serve boiling hot.

Form ore great recipes get your copy of the book selected as The Best Italian Cuisine Book in the USA- The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

If you are in and around the Philadelphia area this month, I will be doing a few appearances  in the month of October and November in the city of Brotherly Love… look forward to sharing some samples with you and meeting you!


Wednesday, October 16th, 6 PM, Free Library of Philadelphia – Tacony Branch, 6742 Torresdale Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19135, book signing and sampling

Free Library of Philadelphia – Tacony Branch

Thursday, October 17th, 5:30 PM to 8 PM, Upper Bucks Foodie 2013 at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge, 501 N. West End Boulevard, Quakertown, PA 18951, book signing and sampling

Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce

Friday, October 18 to Sunday, October 20th, TASTE Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival at Valley Forge Casino Resort, 1160 First Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406, book signing and sampling

Cooking Demo on Sunday, October 20th at 2:45 PM

TASTE Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival

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Designed by Brian Hanshaw

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