Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday - Nona Sophia's Pappa Al Pomodoro

The ingredients to make a Pesto - pecorino che...
The ingredients to make a Pesto - pecorino cheese, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and basil. For this recipe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


           If I were to describe my Nona Sophia’s family, I would say that they always had a burner on high, and a pot at the boil. Whether they were angry or happy, loving or grieved, the display of sentiment was passionate. Loud voices. Big gestures. Eyes ablaze or weeping with joy. The spectacle of their household made visible the spectrum of human emotion. Sometimes I thought it was good to have a day of emotional fasting with Nana Kate, to prepare me for the rich drama at Nona Sophia’s.

The pot at the boil on the back of Nona’s stove was often full of  
Pappa Al Pomodoro


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 carrots (scraped and chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic – either put through garlic press or crushed with the side of a knife and finely diced
  • 1 loaf of ciabatta bread – remove the crust and dice into one inch cubes.
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes. Nona uses Muir Glen
  • 4 cups chicken stock (Nona uses homemade; I use organic stock from the store)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves + a few leaves for each bowl as garnish
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Stockpot Français : Une marmine
Stockpot Français : Une marmine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Start with a stockpot. Pour the olive oil in and heat on a medium low heat.  Add onions, carrots and garlic. Heat these together for about ten minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the bread cubes and cook for another five minutes. Pour in the canned tomatoes, the stock, and the red wine. Add the basil, salt and pepper and give it a stir. Bring this to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Partially cover the pot by tipping the lid slightly and cook for forty minutes. Remove the lid and use a whisk to stir the soup briskly and break up the bread cubes.

ricetta/recipe sul mio Blog Il Mondo di Luvi i...
ricetta/recipe sul mio Blog Il Mondo di Luvi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pour into bowls, sprinkle with parmesan shavings, float a leaf or two of fresh basil and a twist of fresh pepper.

I know it's not beautiful; it is delicious! (and the addition of the garnishes helps.)


       This is particularly nice with a fresh green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, a lovely glass of red wine, and a piece of fruit with dark chocolate for desert.

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