Pappa al Pomodoro

How to Make 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. 

Watch the Pappa al Pomodoro video recipe:

How to make PAPPA AL POMODORO Like an Italian

pappa al pomodoro soup

Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Pappa al Pomodoro

The BEST way to get it fresh!

Crushing the peeled tomatoes by hand is the closest you can get to fresh tomatoes. You can also use passata or diced tomatoes but peeled tomatoes really are the best.

Either of these two

Remember, the bread should either be stale or dried and toasted.

It should be small

The pieces of bread should be relatively small so they soak in the sauce and can be easily mashed with the tomatoes.

pappa al pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro

Vincenzo's Plate


  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking Tray if toasting bread
  • Large non-stick pot Deep non-stick frying pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Serving plate


  • 400 grams Peeled tomatoes 14oz
  • 5 slices 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 Vegetable stock 4tbsp
  • Salt and pepper


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to serve Pappa al Pomodoro

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. 

While it’s 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.

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One Response to Pappa al Pomodoro

  1. Matthew Weiler April 29, 2022 at 1:52 AM #

    Thank you for a delicious and easy recipe.
    We’re really enjoying it here in Canada.

    I made the Pappa al Pomodoro for lunch a few weeks ago.
    My Italian wife said “ew, I don’t want that”.
    But after seeing me, her German husband, enjoy it, she has to try some, and she loved it.

    It made it for us for lunch today and it turned out even better.

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