Pappa al Pomodoro, a Classic Tuscan Summer delight.
Pappa al Pomodoro is one of our favourite Summer recipes. Not only it’s vegan, but it’s also a staple of the Tuscan culinary tradition. Quick to make, delicious to eat, it up-cycles stale bread and gets all the taste from ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, which is why it is usually best enjoyed at this time of the year. If fresh tomatoes are not available, tinned tomatoes or passata di Pomodoro will do, too, as shown in this easy to follow video-recipe by Carlotta Perego of Cucina Botanica.
We have been fortunate to work with Carlotta on various occasions and love her professionalism and creativity. Among her many talents, she makes everything look effortless and is the right person to help you get more familiar with the concept of veganism and the nutritional aspects of a plant-based diet.
Querciabella Chianti Classico is the perfect match for Pappa al Pomodoro with its very classical, fruity and bright profile. Sangiovese is one of the few grape varieties that is not intimidated by tomato’s acidity and the firm structure and well-integrated tannins of the wine well accompany the thick, creamy consistency of the soup.
For those who are not fluent in Italian, we have translated Carlotta’s recipe into English. You are welcome and Buon Appetito!
Pappa al Pomodoro · By Carlotta Perego
750 ml of tomato sauce (passata)
300 g stale bread
8-12 basil leaves
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
A generous pinch of salt
Extra vergin olive oil (approx. 4 tablespoons)
Peel and finely slice the garlic and the red onion.
Heat a lug of oil in a large pan, add the garlic and the onion and sweat them for a few minutes on a low heat, or until they become translucent, but not yet brown.
Tip in the tomato sauce of your choice and bring to a boil over medium heat. Then reduce to a simmer and cook slowly until thick and most of the liquid has evaporated. This step will help you get all flavour from your tomatoes.
Tear in the bread, mix well and season to taste. Give the soup a good stir – if you’re looking to achieve a thick, smooth texture, remove the bread crust. Otherwise, leave the crust for a coarser feel. Keep stirring the soup regularly to help break down the bread and adjust it with a little water, if needed.
Once the soup has reached the right consistency, turn off the heat and cover to let the flavours blend and soften for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the garlic and season to taste. Add a bit of basil, strictly chopped with your hands, and finally, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
If you like to spice things up a bit, you can add some chilly.