Pappa al Pomodoro

15 Min Prep50 Min Total$5.25/serving
Inspired by the new chill in the air, Marcella Hazan’s classic tomato sauce recipe and a desire to utilize slightly-stale bread without adding to our ever-growing collection of breadcrumbs—we give you the age-old Tuscan classic, Pappa al Pomodoro. We added a little fresh basil muddled in oil to the mix, but feel free to skip it in the name of Florentine authenticity.

INGREDIENTS (2-3 servings)

3 lbs. of Tomatoes

7 tbsps. of Salted Butter

1 Onion (peeled and cut in half)

1/2 loaf of Day-Old Bread

1/4 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano

1 cup of Basil

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Step 1

Combine the chopped tomatoes, butter, onion halves and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat for about 45 minutes (uncovered). Since you’re cooking the sauce for a good chunk of time, this is a great use of tomatoes that are slightly overripe and on their last legs.

Step 2

(If all you have is fresh bread, you’ll want to dry it out a bit first in order to avoid a mushy final product. Tear bread into rough 3 inch chunks and bake for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees, until the bread has started to get a bit hard but has not begun to brown.

Step 3

Arrange a handful of bread chunks in the bottom of a bowl. When your sauce is ready, taste and adjust for salt as necessary. If it’s too thick to pour over your bread, add a splash or two of water and stir until combined. Remove the onion (saving for another use) and pour most of the sauce over the bread and stir gently to make sure all of the bread is covered. (Reserving a bit of the sauce for finishing.) Let the sauce and bread hang out for a few minutes.

Step 4

While the bread absorbs the sauce, grind your basil for a minute in a mortar and pestle until it’s the texture of paste and then mix in a few tablespoons of olive oil. To finish the dish, top each bowl off with the last of the sauce, a drizzle of basil oil and a quick shower of parmesan cheese if you have it.