28 Feb No Comments Cooking with Jeff and Cristina Cooking at Home , , , , ,

Pappa al Pomodoro… aka Tomato Bread Soup.  This was one of my favorite dishes of Florence, Italy.  Although this is known as a peasant dish, it does not lack in flavor or heartiness.  There’s nothing like a dish of Pappa al Pomodoro after some shopping on Via Roma on a cool November day.  The main ingredients… tomatoes and stale bread.

Since we had almost an entire loaf of Italian bread left over, I decided to this would be a perfect dinner to make.  I made my variation of this recipe with fresh tomatoes, but I suggest not.  Pappa al Pomodoro is better more with chunky tomatos rather than bready.  You’d need too many tomatoes & it’s too much work to chop them all up, seed them, etc.  Make sure you use the good San Marzano tomatoes though!

Ingredients:  (Serves 4)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 30 basil leaves – torn or roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups two-day-old crusty bread torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup good quality shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Kosher salt to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a medium soup pot and add garlic and basil. Stir until fragrant and add tomatoes with juice and stock.
2. Reduce heat to a simmer and mash tomatoes with a spoon or potato masher. They don’t need to be completely crushed. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes.
3. Add bread pieces and stir well. Let the bread soak up the juices and then stir until smooth an velvety. Salt to taste.
4. Serve with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Buon’ appetito!