Tomato Bread Soup: Pappa al Pomodoro

This recipe comes to us from The Food Network courtesy of Mario Batali.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic  clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds fresh  tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3/4 pound Liscio’s Italian bread, roughly sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh torn  basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


In a 12-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame until hot but not smoking. Add the  onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and their juices and bring to a  boil. Reduce to a  simmer and let cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down, about 5 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, add the stale bread chunks and water. Continue simmering until all the bread has absorbed as much liquid as possible, yielding a baby food-like consistency. Add the  garlicand stir in the basil. Season, to taste, with pepper. Let the  soup continue simmering for 10 more minutes, then serve immediately in warmed soup bowls.  Garnish, to taste, with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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The Family that breaks bread together stays together!