Monday, 13 April 2015

la pappa col pomodoro. a dish with groovy sixties vibes

Rita Pavone is an italian singer and showgirl that used to be very popular in the sixties. she was an icon, like an italian Twiggy {plus, she could dance}.
some of her hits had been embedded in italian pop culture, so even an eighties kid like me know them by line. one of her songs is called viva la pappa col pomodoro, where the pappa col pomodoro is a traditional tuscan soup, made by bread, tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil.
until a few weeks ago, i had never tasted it!

the special occasion was a weekend i spent in Siena, the city of the Palio, in Toscana.
one of the highlights of those rainy days was a cooking lesson, on a few local recipes.

the pappa col pomodoro is so easy to make, so tasty and so heart-warming that i think you'll love it, and will bring a mouthful of Toscana at home with you.

400 gr stale bread
6 cloves of garlic
10 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
500 gr ripe tomatoes
a bunch of fresh basil
1,5 lt meat broth
1 chilli
salt & pepper

make the meat broth, and keep it warm. toss the garlic and chopped chilli into a large pot, with olive oil, then turn on the fire. when the oil is warmed up, add some basil leaves, and then the tear up bread, cut in small pieces. 
add the tomatoes and fill the pot with broth, until you cover the bread. season to taste with salt and pepper, add the rest of the basil.
cook for about an our, keeping the lid on. if needed, add some broth.
the soup has to be quite thick but soft and silky, so mash the thicker parts with the wood mill before serving with a touch of olive oil.

this recipe was handed to me in the wonderful kitchen of Lella, who runs a cooking school in Siena. visit her website for more information, and then you can finally listen to the song!


  1. Lovely! I adore that dish and that song too! ♥

  2. my mom loves rita pavone. I listened a lot when I was a kid, because of her.

    I'll try this soup! It's getting cold here, I'm in a mood for some soup. =]


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