Roveja (a traditional legume from central Italy)
- a cup of roveja (200 g)
- 4 cups of water (about 1 l)
- 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
- olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1/2 rib of celery, finely diced
- 1 carrot (if big, use half), coarsely shredded
- a tiny dried hot chili pepper left whole
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (possibly prepared freshly by toasting cumin seeds in a dry skilled and then grinding them)
- 4 oz organic tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- fine sea salt, to taste
Soak the roveja in the water, add the coarse salt, stir and let sit for 12 hours, then drain. Cook the roveja in two cups of water, until fairly soft, but not totally cooked (for me that meant 75 minutes). Set aside.
In another saucepan, warm up a bit of olive oil, then add the onion. Cook for two minutes, then add the celery. Cook for two minutes, then add the carrot and chili pepper. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft. If the vegetables become dry, add some of the cooking liquid from the roveja.
Sprinkle the cumin and stir. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste and, after a couple of minutes, the roveja. Cook over low heat, covered, until nice and soft, about 15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat and let the roveja cool, then put in the fridge until the day after. Warm up, adding some water if too dry, and serve.