Pappa al pomodoro


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Pappa al pomodoro is what most people would call the definitive taste of Italy; tomatoes, garlic, basil and plenty of extra virgin olive oil. The very thick soup is full of Tuscan bread (which traditionally doesn’t contain salt and therefore goes stale quicker than regular bread) and can be served warm and comforting or chilled and refreshing. Good quality olive oil is key here, as are the tomatoes – this recipe calls for tinned, but it’s a wonderful way to use up a glut of ripe tomatoes too.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion and garlic with a pinch of chilli flakes on a low heat for 15 minutes or until very soft but without colour
Strain the tinned tomatoes over a bowl, reserving the juice. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook until thick and most of the liquid has evaporated. This step will help you get a deeper flavour from your tinned tomatoes
Add in the reserved tomato juice, 3 sprigs of basil, sugar, vegetable stock and bread and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring regularly to help break down the bread
Season well with salt and pepper
Serve warm or chilled with torn basil and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
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