We had this Italian tomato and bread soup twice while we were in Florence. The first time was by far the best (at All'Antico Ristoro di'Cambi). Theirs was spicier than the other version we had and we both loved it, so I set out to recreate it on our first day back from Italy. I found a few recipes online to look at, and then made up my own. Here's a quick iPhone snap of the finished product:
Pappa al Pomodoro
- 3 cups heirloom tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 lb stale bread cut or torn into small pieces (I didn't have stale yesterday, since it was our first day home, and the fresh loaf of peasant como bread I bought worked fine)
- About 4 cups vegetable broth, warmed
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- basil, torn coarsely with your fingers, not chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used a combination of about 2Tbsp EVOO and 1+ Tbsp of spicy EVOO that I've got in a bottle with a bunch of peppers)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put the bread in a large bowl and add the warm broth. Set aside for about an hour
- In a wide pot, sauté the garlic in the olive oil. Add tomatoes and a little salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the broth-soaked bread to the pot, squeezing the excess broth out with your hands before you add each handful to the pot. Simmer another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Serve warm, with fresh cut basil and a swirl of olive oil (or spicy oil) on top.
Also, I had the best Spaghetti alla Carbonara in Ravenna at the Ristorante Bella Venezia just a couple doors down from our hotel. I plan to try to recreate that one, too! This looks like a decent place to start.