By Joey O’Hare & Katy Taylor (@joeyandkatycook)

The almighty Ribollita. Perhaps our favourite ‘one-pot’ of all time. We have made countless versions of this bean stew over the seasons, each one dictated by which vegetables were left in the fridge and what was in season at the time. It’s as versatile as can be and this one’s an autumnal beauty which is comforting, nourishing and warms you to the core.

Velvety roasted squash, sweet roasted red onions, woody rosemary, and fragrant sage… Some of the very best autumnal flavours! We top things with a roasted garlic cream cheese which adds huge depth of flavour to the overall dish; and a warm, punchy ‘rough-cut’ sage & walnut pesto which is both zingy from a squeeze of lemon, and nutty and savoury from toasted walnuts.

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 45 mins

This recipe serves 4 people.

For the ribollita:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion

2 stalks celery

2-3 carrots

1 leek

4 cloves of garlic (sliced)

2 anchovies, optional

200 g cavolo nero

2 cans chopped tomatoes

2 cans water

2 tins of beans of your  choice (we used a combination of chickpeas, borlotti, red kidney and cannellini)

flakey sea salt

black pepper


For the tray roast & garlic cream cheese:

1 small/medium butternut squash, or ½ red kombucha/kuri/onion squash (500g – 750g when chopped)

2 red onions

2 tbsp olive oil

4 sprigs rosemary, stripped

1 head of garlic

¼ lemon, juice only

6 tbsp full fat cream cheese

flakey sea salt

black pepper


For the walnut & sage pesto:

40g walnuts

16-20 sage leaves

6 tbsp olive oil

flakey sea salt

1 small clove garlic

½ lemon, juice only


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and have an oven rack near the top; we’ll start by preparing the ingredients for the tray roast.

Wash your squash, halve it lengthways, discard the seeds, and chop into even chunks roughly 2 cm by 2 cm. Peel the red onions and slice into half-moons, roughly 8 per onion, and strip the rosemary leaves from their stalks. Toss the squash, red onion and rosemary with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and some sea salt and pepper, then spread evenly over a roasting tray.

Rub off the toughest external layer of papery skin from the garlic. Place the head of garlic on its side, and carefully slice the top off to expose the tip of each bulb within – this will make it easier to squish out all the fabulous roasted garlic later on. Lightly rub with olive oil, wrap loosely tin foil, and pop on the roasting tray with the squash etc. Roast everything in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chunky chop the brown onion, slice the celery, peel (or simply wash) the carrots and thinly slice into rounds, top and tail the leek and slice into rounds, and peel and finely slice the garlic bulbs.

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and start by frying the onion over a medium heat. Sauté for 8 minutes until gently caramelised and soft.

Add in the prepped celery, carrots, leek, and garlic, as well as 2 anchovies, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Stir often and continue cooking on a medium heat for a further 10 minutes.

Finely shred the cavolo nero, and add this to the saucepan along with the chopped tomatoes, 2 cans of water, and the drain beans. Season generously with salt and pepper, then pop on the lid and allow this to simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the squash has had it’s 30 minutes remove it from the oven but allow the head of garlic to have a further 15 minutes. Add the walnuts to the oven now too, for a quick 4 minutes to toast.

Add the roasted squash and onions to the ribollita. Continue to simmer very gently while you prepare the final bits.

Squeeze the roasted garlic from its bulbs and mash and mix with the cream cheese, the juice of ¼ lemon, and some sea salt.

For the pesto, roughly chop the sage leaves and finely mince the garlic with a microplane. Once the walnuts have toasted for 4 minutes and are smelling deliciously nutty remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then roughly chop. Heat the olive oil in your smallest frying pan over a low heat. Add the sage, minced garlic, walnuts and a pinch of salt and allow things to sizzle and fry very gently for 1-2 minutes, just to take the raw edge off the garlic but keep things punchy. Turn off the heat and squeeze in the juice of ½ lemon.

Serve your hearty ribollita in warmed bowls topped with generous dollops of your zingy pesto, and wonderfully enriching roasted garlic cream cheese.