Let’s keep playing with words and ingredients this week with the pappa al pomodoro, a bread and tomato soup.
What I love about this soup, a classical from the Tuscan culinary tradition, is that it’s basically made with leftovers you may have in your kitchen. In fact, you should use a day old bread. My only advice, trying not to make it too mushy, is not to use a lot of bread, altrimenti, otherwise it will turn out yummy but not quite appealing. And you know, even with food, anche l’occhio vuole la sua parte, looks and presentation matter!!
Ecco gli ingredienti, ingredients for about 5 people:
1 kg (approx. 2 pounds) tomatoes, pomodori
2 large slices Tuscan bread – due fette di pane toscano
One clove garlic – uno spicchio d’aglio
One liter (33 OZ) Vegetable stock – brodo vegetale
Basil – basilico
Salt – sale
Olive Oil – olio d’oliva
Pepper – pepe
Toss the tomatoes in boiling water for about a minute; drain and put them in cold water. This way you can easily peel and cut them in chunks. Now, you have the choice to use a strainer, or a food processor to puree the tomatoes, or just leave them in big pieces: cooking time will still turn them into a thick sauce. Toast the bread and rub it with garlic. Place the garlicky bread at the bottom of a large pot, add the tomatoes, the vegetable broth and some basil leaves. Cook on medium heat for about 40-45 minutes. Stir occasionally, until all bread is dissolved. Top with freshly grinded black pepper, olive oil and garnish with some basil leaves. Serve warm. E’ l’ora della pappa!! (it’s time to eat!)
Pillola d’italiano. Pappa means mush or baby food in Italian. If you take out a “p”, it will turn into the word papa, pope. If you now place an accent on the last vowel, it will become a different word, papà, Italian for dad. Besides, you can find this word in the expression Essere pappa e ciccia, to be inseparable, to be best buddies like two kinds of food that go perfectly together. Interesting, don’t you think?