Several weeks after our Tomato Festival, I was tuned into the Food Channel and Michael Chiarello was making Pappa al Pomodoro. It reminded me of a recipe I had seen earlier in Bon Appetit. I immediately put it on my "must try" list. It is very simple to make and is quite tasty.
Pappa al Pomodoro
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 ounces day-old Italian bread, sliced
1/2 cups water
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch heavy saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender.
Place the bread in a bowl and cover with water. Using your hands, break up the bread into small pieces. Add the bread to the saucepan and simmer until the bread absorbs the liquid. The mixture is very thick. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve hot, topped with the Parmesan and fresh basil. Serves 4.
You can add extra olive oil or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.