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Tuscan Pappa Al Pomodoro

Pappa al pomodoro, a classic Tuscan soup that melds ripe tomatoes with crusty, day-old bread, is hearty enough to serve as a main course. Fresh basil complements the acidity of the tomatoes, red-pepper flakes add a hint of heat, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano ensures a creamy consistency.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2007


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces day-old rustic bread, crust removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 pounds paste tomatoes (preferably Amish), blanched, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup oil, the red-pepper flakes, and bread; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

  2. Add tomatoes and stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread has broken down and melded into the tomatoes, about 15 minutes (the soup will be thick).

  3. Remove from heat; stir in basil and cheese. Season with pepper. Serve drizzled with oil and sprinkled with cheese.

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