Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Authentic Tuscan Papa Al Pomodoro

TGIF with the Couick's

This past Friday afternoon I met my Mother and Sister in law for lunch at Harry's and then shopping at the new Charlotte Premium Outlets. We didn't have much luck in terms of finding good sales, but it was nice to spend some quality girl time together. 

That evening my Brother in law Jeff came over to catch up on Game of Thrones. He house-sat for us while we were in Europe and started watching the show but never finished the season. For dinner that night I made a big batch of hearty Papa Al Pomodoro for us to enjoy.

Papa Al Pomodoro is a rustic tomato soup with Tuscan bread. Although it's a hot soup, it's traditionally served in the summer time due to the prevalence of ripe homegrown tomatoes. When Brad and I visited Borgo Santinovo in May, owner Elisabetta offered to share her recipe with us. We LOVED the original but unfortunately, the recipe didn't give exact measurements or quantities so I did my best to guesstimate. Overall the dish came out great, but I would suggest making this for a larger group as it's quite filling. I also recommend enjoying the entire batch in one day, or setting aside some tomato sauce in order to loosen it a bit while reheating. 

Papa Al Pomodoro 
*Serves 7-10


1.5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (for cooking)
2 medium yellow onions finely chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
12 Ripe Tomatoes
Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper to taste
22oz loaf of Crusty Italian Bread (I use La Brea) cut into medium-sized chunks
Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano and/or Parmesan Cheese, Freshly torn basil, and a drizzle of good quality olive oil for garnish (I used the Laudemio we bought in Florence)

Step 1 Prepping the Tomatoes:

1) With a Pairing Knife score the tops and bottoms of tomatoes with an X 
2) Prepare an ice bath; simply a large bowl of cool water and ice cubes.
3) Boil water in a large pot.
4) Working in batches, place tomatoes in the boiling water for approximately 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer to ice bath. 
5) You can now easily peel the tomatoes using your hands 

Step 2 Preparing the Soup Base:

1) In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and slowly cook until softened and beginning to color (10-12 minutes) Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. 
2) Add tomatoes to the pot. They will begin to crush automatically but you can use a potato masher or whisk to help things along. Add salt & pepper to taste.We also used a little crushed red pepper the next day to add a little heat (this is optional). Continue to cook another 15 minutes. 

Step 3 Adding the Bread:

1) Add the chunks of bread and allow it to cook until it reaches a smooth and soft texture. I used a whisk to speed up the process. Taste the soup again and adjust seasonings if necessary. 

Le Brea is a great choice for this dish

Step 4 Garnish:

1) Ladle soup into individual bowls. 
2) drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top
3) Freshly grate cheeses over the top
4) Sprinkle with hand-torn basil ( cutting with a knife oxidizes basil turning it black and releases more oils than tearing does)

We served this dish with a nice glass of Syrah. It brought us right back to Italy, enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. No exact measurements or quantities...that's funny! Truly an authentic Italian recipe!