Pappa al Pomodoro
Why we love it:
- 1 pound Crusty Bread (day old or even stale is preferred)
- 11⁄2 pounds Roma Tomato (or on-the-vine, whatever looks ripe)
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 1⁄4 teaspoon White Sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (possibly more to taste)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly cracked)
- 4 cups Water
- 3 Tablespoons Basil (optional or use dried)
Dice into 2” cubes. Remove some sections of really burnt or dense crusts but you can leave much of it on. If it’s too stale to cut, douse it with water, like a sponge first.
Dice the tomatoes, set aside in a bowl. Dice the onion into small pieces. Mince the garlic. Add both to a heavy pot with the olive oil and sauté until translucent and fragrant. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and occasionally while cooking for 10 minutes to reduce the tomatoes
Add the bread cubes and water and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes and use a wooden spoon to mash up the bread cubes. The soup will become thick, like the consistency of oatmeal. Add basil or herbs, if using, taste to make sure there’s enough salt and pepper.
Serve in a shallow bowl, drizzle with good quality olive oil, more basil, or even cheese or a knob of butter, if desired.