Pappa al Pomodoro

Pappa al pomodoro is a dish based on homemade bread, tomato, and other simple ingredients, typical of Tuscan cuisine. Pappa al pomodoro is prepared with unsalted and possibly stale Tuscan homemade bread.

The Pappa al Pomodoro is a dish of the poor Tuscan cuisine, the cuisine of the peasants who created simple and tasty recipes using the leftovers they found at home. In fact, to prepare Pappa al Pomodoro, the main element to use is stale Tuscan bread.

As mentioned, the Pappa al Pomodoro has peasant origins, probably it was born in the mid-1700s when the tomato, imported into Europe from the Americas, began to be used in the kitchen.

In Tuscany where this dish is born, the less well-to-do classes of the population created the recipe to use stale bread, flavoring it with peeled tomatoes.

As for the name, it seems that it comes from the way children call any type of meal. Pappa al Pomodoro started to be better known all over Italy in the ‘60s because of a TV series based on the book” GianBurrasca “, where  Rita Pavone (well known Italian singer) sang” W la Pappa al Pomodoro”.

A very simple, zero-waste dish, to be enjoyed warm in winter for a comforting dinner, or cold in summer, seasoned with good oil and lots of fresh basil, for a light and tasty lunch. As always happens with traditional dishes, there are also countless variations of this dish, dictated by the choices of families, the availability of products, and the imagination of the chefs.

This dish is nicely served both in small glasses as an entrée, or as a hearty main course, accompanied by a good glass of Chianti. If you have some leftover bread, try making it.

Servings :8

1 onion

6 tbsp. EVOO

250g=9 oz. stale Tuscan bread

800g=28 oz. ripe tomatoes or 350 gr.=12 oz. peeled tomatoes

1½ lt.= 10 cups of stock

5 leaves of basil or a sprig of fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

Finely chop the onion, place it in a terracotta pan with two spoonfuls of olive oil, and lightly fry over moderate heat making sure that the onion doesn’t take on too much color.

Cut the bread into small cubes

Then add the stale bread,

Continue cooking, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until all of the oil has been absorbed.

Peel and chop the tomatoes if you use fresh ones

When the bread is slightly golden add the tomatoes,

Mix well with a wooden spoon and cook over low heat for a few minutes.

 Add, a little at a time, the necessary stock to obtain a soup that is not too thick.

Season with salt, add a good pinch of freshly chopped pepper, and cook the ‘pappa’ for about half an hour, remembering to stir it from time to time.

When the ‘pappa’ is cooked decorate with basil and pour on 4 spoonfuls of EVOO.

Leave the soup to stand for a few minutes before serving.

Buon appetito with a very Tuscan dish!