Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pappa Al Pomodoro


Supper tonight came down to a toss up between making a pot of pappa al pomodoro and not making pappa al pomodoro.  The fact of the matter is I was rather grumpy after having done nine loads of laundry and stewing over an email from my boss that I just didn't feel like cooking...yet I needed comfort food.

Comfort food cures the grumpies.  It's a well known fact.

 So...introducing tomato bread 'soup'.  Italian peasant food at it's best...simple, cheap and one of my very favorite things ever.


Begin my sautéing some onion, carrot, garlic and whole basil leaves in an ungodly amount of olive oil until the veggies are soft.  Add in a loaf of stale bread, cubed, stirring until the bread gets coated in the oil.

Next up...chicken broth.  Pour it right on in and stir, stir, stir until the bread absorbs the broth and starts to break down.  You can add more depending on how soupy you like it...we like it on the thick side.

Now for the pomodoro part...tomatoes!  

I know it doesn't look that appetizing, but trust me.  Put some in a bowl, sprinkle with fresh parmesan and (gasp!) a drizzle of olive oil and there you have it.  Close your eyes when you take a bite and you'll  find yourself sitting in a piazza in Italy, drinking chianti out of water glasses and shouting 'ciao! ciao!' to passersby.

=0)

So here's the reality.  Feed your family and have one of them (who knows better) start rummaging through the fridge immediately afterwards in search of meat.  Huff and puff to the back of the house only to come out when your neighbor, once again, comes to the rescue.

Introducing Leila.  I love Leila...she's a big sister to Brian at school and I can never thank her enough for that, because all 14 year old boys who have girlfriends need a big sister watching over them.

=0)

Anyway, Leila showed up with a plate of the most amazing food...zucchini thingys with feta and garlic yogurt, baba ganoush and MEAT.  Feed a bunch of menfolk bread and tomatoes for supper and then bring over a plate of meat and well...we were fighting over that plate of food.

I'll keep saying it...if you don't have a turkish neighbor, well, you're missing out.

=0)

Pappa al pomodoro
(tuscan bread and tomato soup)

1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, whole
8 - 10 large fresh basil leaves, whole
1 cup olive oil (yes, 1 cup...trust me!)
1 loaf of stale bread, cubed
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano's
fresh parmesan

Heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions, carrots, garlic and basil leaves until veggies are soft.  Add bread, stirring until bread cubes are covered in olive oil.  Add chicken broth, stirring to break down the bread.  Add tomatoes, heat through.  Serve in bowls, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.  We like it best at room temperature.



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