Italians eat a lot of bread..it's something that they enjoy with almost every meal. Trouble is, the type of baguette popular here goes stale really fast. So, what do you with all of those hard ends of bread? Make papa al pomodoro, of course!
Papa al pomodoro is a bread stew that I fell in love with when I studied abroad. It's a slice of heaven on a cold, dreary day. You can find a lot of recipes for this great Italian favorite online, but here's how we made ours:
- Torn and chopped stale bread (probably about a complete loaf's worth)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can white beans (we used cannaloni)
- 1 onion
- About 2-3 cups vegetable broth
- A lot of garlic (we used about 4 gloves)
- 1/4 jar of leftover plain marinara sauce
- Handfull of chopped mushrooms
- Torn basil (probably about a 1/4 cup worth)
- Pecorino Romano cheese (die hards will only use Parmesan, but we didn't have it on hand)
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Over medium-high heat we cooked the garlic and onion in about 1/4 cup of olive oil for around 6 minutes. We let everything get really soft. Then we added all of the tomatoes and beans and brought that to a soft boil. We then slowly added in the stock, being careful not to let the mixture get too thin. Then, we added in a bit of salt and pepper, the mushrooms, basil and chunks of bread. We cooked that for only about 8 minutes more.
We reserved some of the torn chunks of bread and put them on top (kind of like croutons), along with grated pecorino romano. Delicious!
We ate this for lunch today and still have leftovers.