Braised food

Cuddle up on the couch with Shannon Martinez’s Tubetti with braised fennel, radicchio and chickpeas

Shannon Martinez first made this dish to relieve a hangover.

“I drank too many bottles of wine on a big night out,” says the owner and chef of Smith & Daughters in Melbourne.

She wanted carbs and cheese, but given her fragile state, she wanted it just as quickly. This one-pot wonder ticked all the boxes – the tubetti are cooked directly in a brodo (broth) of vegetable broth, white wine, fennel, chickpeas and radicchio.

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Smith & Daughters is a vegan restaurant with a rock’n’roll attitude. It was one of the first dishes Martinez thought of for the Italian menu, which debuted abruptly in May 2018 after four years of cooking with Latin influences. Preparing a vegan Italian menu was easy, she says.

“Italian cuisine has some pretty epic vegan dishes. An example is with the more peasant-style dishes, some of which use garlic breadcrumbs instead of parmesan, as that was all they could afford.

She is convinced that hearty and comforting dishes can be prepared without animal products, this recipe being an example. “It’s kind of perfect one-pot, one-bowl, on the couch with a blanket food,” she says.

Braised fennel, radicchio and chickpea tubetti, by Shannon Martinez

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

For 4 people

Ingredients

125 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more to finish

150g coarsely chopped chicory

½ brown onion, thinly sliced

½ fennel bulb, core removed, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, sliced

400 g canned chickpeas

½ teaspoon chilli flakes

80ml white wine

150g tubetti pasta

750ml vegetable stock

A small handful of coarsely chopped parsley

25g vegan Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano, grated, plus extra to finish

Method

In a deep, lidded saucepan or shallow Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel and chicory. Season with salt and pepper and cook until just beginning to brown.

Add the garlic, chickpeas and chili flakes and cook for a minute before deglazing the pan with the white wine.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the tubetti, reduce to low heat and cover. Check every two minutes to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Once the pasta is al dente, remove the lid, check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add a little broth if necessary. This dish falls somewhere between a soup and pasta, so keep it bubbly.

Add a quarter cup of Parmesan and stir until melted. Finish the dish with parsley, a generous grater of fresh parmesan and a generous drizzle of olive oil.

This is an excerpt from The large format Italian cookbook, featuring 80 recipes from Australia’s best restaurants, cafes and bars.