Pappa al pomodoro, poor and traditional Tuscan cuisine
The goodness of pappa al pomodoro has won over many people and even famous singers who have even dedicated songs to it. How come? You can't understand it if you don't taste it, but beware that the original and delicious pappa al pomodoro can only be found in Tuscany.
A blackmail that has been declared as the dish of the 'true Mediterranean face'. Simple ingredients, exciting history and intense flavour, but it also hides some legends that few people know.
Among the many curiosities, it is said that even Collodi, Pinocchio's father, loved pappa al pomodoro very much.
So much so that in the original version of the story, there was a passage that spoke of this dish being eaten by Pinocchio and Lucifer.
This is one of the testimonies of how it is a traditional and typical Tuscan dish that often becomes one of the usual and continuous requests of visitors to this region.
Peasant origin with simple and delicious ingredients
It is not possible to date the birth of this recipe exactly because it has always been part of the poor peasant Tuscan cuisine. However, it is a creative recipe, in some ways even witty, to reuse the stale, old and hard bread that, in the Middle Ages, was the only thing to be found in the homes of the "poverelli".
Its ingredients are easily found in nature and grow spontaneously, as well as always having leftover bread that we forget in the cupboard. Be careful that the bread you use is not the classic bread you buy at the bakery, perhaps even very "tasty", you must use Tuscan bread that is strictly unsalted.
In fact, it is one of the secrets of this recipe. In order to enjoy this dish to the fullest, the bread and tomatoes must be unsalted, otherwise the delicate flavours of the ingredients will be lost. A pinch of salt and pepper can only be used at the end of the preparation.
This procedure can then guarantee a very healthy dish where the aromas are given the right importance.
A healthy dish, but you can only find pappa al pomodoro in Tuscany
The secret of the Tuscan pappa al pomodoro is the bread, as we have already mentioned, which must not only be unsalted, but also stale, that is, hard because it will make the texture of the tomato soft and creamy.
For the ingredients you need about 800 grams of nice ripe tomatoes, 300 grams of stale Tuscan bread, 20 basil leaves, 1 clove of garlic, 1 chopped white onion, vegetable broth, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
The tomatoes must be cut and thrown whole into boiling water. When they are soft, but not completely cooked, drain them and remove the seeds and skin. In a pan, brown the garlic with 3 tablespoons of oil. Once browned but not burnt, remove the garlic and start adding stock. Add the tomato and cook for 5 minutes.
The bread should be cut or broken up and added to the tomato together with the basil, which should be finely chopped. Start stirring in order to mix in the best possible way. Add the vegetable broth a little at a time because the pappa al pomodoro must cook for at least 30 minutes.
Once ready and served, add a drizzle of oil and then decorate with a whole basil leaf.
Tuscan restaurants always offer a good pappa al pomodoro, especially in agriturismi, where there is a strong link to traditional cuisine.
At the first spoonful you will notice the well-blended flavour of the ingredients, but also the aroma will make your mouth water. Lovers of good food, Tuscan pappa al pomodoro is waiting for you!