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Pappa al Pomodoro

Serves 6
-

Ingredients

6 cups cubed Tuscan or country style bread like sourdough or boule

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 celery ribs, chopped

4 carrots, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 medium onion, chopped

6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced*

4 cups fresh or canned cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped basil plus extra for garnish

Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Celery leaves for garnish

Directions

Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the celery, carrots, onion and garlic until softened.  Add the plum tomatoes and the cherry tomatoes and cook 30 minutes on low heat, uncovered.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pass the tomato and vegetable mixture through a food mill or puree it.

Cut the bread into small squares, put it in a large roasting pan with another clove of garlic and sprinkle it with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.  Pour the puréed tomato mixture over the bread; add the chopped basil and mix well.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until mixture is nicely thickened.

Serve warm in soup bowls garnished with celery and basil leaves.  In the summer months, this is also a refreshing dish when served cold.

*   Immersing the tomatoes in simmering water for one or two minutes will facilitate peeling.  Then discard the clear pulp and seeds and dice only the fleshy part of the fruit.

This recipe is featured on show 2904 – Tuscan Supper.

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