Pappa al Pomodoro

Pappa Al Pomodoro

Pappa Al Pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro sounds like kid’s food, and it is — for kids of all ages. In the past it was also very much a homey dish, a tasty way to use up leftover bread that no housewife would have dreamed of serving to a guest. Now it’s on the menus of Florence’s trendier restaurants.

  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 crumbled dried hot peppers (go easy, you want a little heat, but not too much)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 pound blanched, peeled, and sliced sun-ripened plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • A 1-pound (500 g) loaf of stale Tuscan bread
  • Hot water as necessary
  • Freshly chopped basil for garnishing

Sauté the onion and the garlic in the oil, and when they’re lightly browned, add the tomatoes, hot peppers, and the tomato paste. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have fallen apart.

While the tomatoes are cooking, slice or break the bread into 3-4 pieces and soak them in a bowl of cool water for a minute or two, then remove them, squeeze out the excess moisture, and crumble them into the tomatoes. Do the crumbling and adding a piece at a time; you want to add enough bread to have a dish with body, but not so much bread as to overwhelm the tomato flavor of the sauce.

Stir the mixture over a low flame for a few minutes, until it thickens. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for fifteen minutes. Serve sprinkled with freshly chopped basil and good olive oil on the side. It’s better made a day ahead and reheated.

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Categories: First Courses from Tuscany, Tomatoey Pasta Sauces

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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