Broad Bean Mash
What polenta, the maize porridge, used to be for poor northerners, maccu was for southerners. It is a real peasant dish, reminding us that farmers sometimes had little but this left to eat in winter. Today, however, you can find maccu on the menus of the best restaurants in the whole of southern Italy, but especially in Puglia and Sicily, the main areas of broad bean cultivation. For this dish you have to find dried broad beans without the skin, just the two halves.
- 800g (1 3/4 lb) dried broad beans, without skins, in halves
- 150ml (5 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 small fresh chilli (not too hot), chopped
- 1 kg (2 1/4 lb) cime di rapa, washed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the beans overnight in 1.5 litres (2 3/4 pints) slightly salted water. Next day, put the beans and water over a not too high heat and boil until the beans are dissolved and mix quickly to a fine mash. Add a little of the olive oil and some salt and pepper, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in another pan with a lid, heat 4 tbsp of the olive oil and gently fry the garlic and chilli. Immediately add the washed cime di rapa, along with a little water, and braise until the vegetable is tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Add a little salt and serve with the warm mash. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the top and enjoy!