Pappa al Pomodoro
Pappa al Pomodoro is a deliciously thick and hearty bread and tomato soup that will simply warm your soul. The classic dish from Tuscany has soft and flavorful tomato-soaked bread with the delightful fresh taste of basil. Pappa al pomodoro is the ultimate comfort food.
400g/14oz peeled tomatoes
5 slices of stale bread (Toast bread in the oven if you do not have stale bread)
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 bunch fresh basil
¼ chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
200 ml/14tbsp vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Baking tray (if toasting bread)
Large non-stick pot/deep non-stick frying pan
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/or 302 °F fan force to start making your Pappa Pomodoro.
- Bake the slices of bread until they become dry and hard. Do not let them become brown or toasted.
- Place the slices of bread on a tray lined with baking paper. Put this in the oven and toast for 15 mins or until they become dry and hard. Flip each slice over at 7 mins, so both sides cook evenly.
- Place the can of peeled tomatoes in a mixing bowl then use your hands to crush them.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Crushing the peeled tomatoes by hand is the closest you can get to fresh tomatoes. You can also use passata or diced tomatoes for your pappa al pomodoro, but peeled tomatoes really are the best.
- Heat a large non-stick pot on medium-low heat and add 5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- Add the chopped onion and cook for about 10 mins until golden brown, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon. After approx 10 mins the onions will have started to brown. It’s now time to crush the garlic using a garlic press and add the 2 cloves to the pot.
- Cook for about 30 seconds, making sure not to burn it.
- Then add the hand-crushed peeled tomatoes to the pot for your Pappa al Pomodoro.
- Use a wooden spoon to mix the tomatoes with the garlic and onions then add a generous amount of salt and pepper and stir.
- Pour in half of the vegetable stock (approx 100ml) and cook for 10 mins. Make sure the ingredients bubble then add the rest of the vegetable stock – don’t worry, the bread will soak up all the liquid.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Remember, the bread should either be stale or dried and toasted.
- Add just a few basil leaves, breaking them with your hands and mixing them through.
- Now, break the bread into small pieces, so they cook faster and are easier to manage, before adding them to the Pappa Pomodoro mixture.
- Combine the bread really well with the tomato and stock so it is completely lathered in the sauce. Use a wooden spoon to help break the bread down even more.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: The pieces of bread should be relatively small so they soak in the sauce and can be easily mashed with the tomatoes.
- Make sure the bread is completely soft and mushy before mashing it down further with a whisk to combine everything and get the right Pappa al Pomodoro consistency!
- Add more extra virgin olive oil if the bread is still too dry. It will reactivate the sauce and bring it back to life.
- Now your pappa al pomodoro is done!
How To Serve:
After all of that cooking, it is finally time for the best part – eating time! You can serve pappa al pomodoro by drizzling extra virgin olive oil on top of a portion and then breaking pieces of fresh basil leaves on top. Italians do not traditionally sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, but you can if you want to – is there really ever enough cheese?
Serve this delicious Tuscan recipe in a large bowl and let the soft, tomato-soaked bread melt in your mouth. Just enjoy the wonderful depth of flavors and taste the sauteed onion and garlic.
Papp al Pomodoro is no longer as popular as it once was, but I am determined to bring this traditional recipe back. You can never go wrong with this recipe. Everyone can enjoy my pappa al pomodoro – it’s vegan too!
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
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