Truita amb Suc

Spinach and White Bean Tortilla In Sauce

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THIS RECIPE TRANSLATES AS ‘TORTILLA WITH SAUCE’. IN SPAIN, ANYTHING WITH A SAUCE INSTANTLY BECOMES A MAIN MEAL AS YOU NEED BREAD TO SOAK UP THE SAUCE. TRUITA AMB SUC IS A TRADITIONAL PRIORAT DISH — A WAY OF EXTENDING SOME EGGS, BEANS AND GREENS FROM A SNACK TO A MAIN MEAL. THIS IS REAL POVERTY FOOD AND WAS SHOWN TO ME BY ONE OF THE PRIORAT’S BEST CHEFS, TONI BRU FROM EL CELLER DE L’ÀSPIC. ALTHOUGH HE COOKS GREAT MODERN FOOD, HE ALSO CHAMPIONS THE ROOTS OF HIS CUISINE. HE TOOK TIME IN HIS RESTAURANT TO SHOW ME THIS LOCAL CLASSIC, FOR WHICH THERE ARE 16 DIFFERENT RECORDED RECIPES. HIS VERSION MAKES A REALLY GOOD MEAL AND WILL WORK WELL IN THE FAMILY HOME, PERHAPS AS A SUNDAY MEAL ON A RAINY DAY. I’VE SUGGESTED YOU FINISH THE DISH IN A CAZUELA (AN EARTHENWARE BAKING DISH), BUT ANY SIMILAR-SIZED FLAMEPROOF DISH WOULD BE GOOD.

Ingredients

  • 100 g ( oz/½ cup) cannellini beans, soaked in cold water for 2 hours, then drained
  • 200 g (7 oz) picked English spinach leaves (about 1 bunch), washed well and dried
  • 10 eggs
  • 50 ml ( fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

Saffron Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • a small pinch of saffron threads
  • 900 ml (30 ½ fl oz) chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon real cornflour (cornstarch) (see glossary)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Method

Place the drained beans in a saucepan, cover well with cold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 40–50 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, to make the saffron sauce, heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saffron and stir for 1 minute, or until the garlic is very lightly browned. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the cornflour and 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl until smooth, then stir into the sauce. Add the sea salt and cook, stirring regularly, for 10-12 minutes, or until the cornflour is cooked out and the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat.

Plunge the spinach into a large saucepan of boiling water for 20 seconds. Drain, refresh in cold water, then squeeze out the excess water and roughly chop. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt to the beans and mix together well.

Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the spinach and bean mixture, season to taste and combine well.

Heat the olive oil in a 25 cm (10 inch) non-stick frying pan over high heat. Pour in the egg mixture and, using a wooden spoon, gently bring the mixture from the edges of the pan into the middle for the first 30 seconds. After 1 minute, reduce the heat to medium, cover with a flat tray and cook for another 3 minutes. Invert the tortilla upside down onto the tray, then slide it back into the pan. Cover with the tray again and cook for another 3 minutes, or until firm but not solid.

Meanwhile, preheat a 25 cm (10 inch) cazuela or flameproof shallow earthenware dish over low heat for 5 minutes. Place the tortilla in the dish and increase the heat to medium. Pour the saffron sauce over (it should just cover the tortilla) and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 20 minutes, to allow the tortilla to absorb some of the sauce. Serve warm.