Bella’s Pappa al Pomodoro

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Bella’s Pappa al Pomodoro

While traveling in Tuscany this year I experienced the most incredible Pappa al Pomodoro at Lo Cucino Gionata D’ Alessi in Bibbona. So I know that I can never compete with Italian chefs, and Italian mothers & grandmothers who have been cooking Italian food all their lives. I use my experiences in Italy and my ability as a chef to create what I call my Bella version of a traditional recipe.

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound fresh tomatoes chopped

1 celery rib finely chopped

1 carrot finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 yellow onion finely chopped

28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes

4 cups broth vegetable or chicken

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fennel

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

sea salt & pepper

4 slices of stale bread cubed

burrata cheese & fresh basil for garnish


In a large sauce pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, carrot and onion sauce until translucent. Add the fresh tomatoes and seasonings, cook until the tomatoes break down. Now add the canned tomatoes and broth and let simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Sometimes if the tomatoes are at the end of the season they may not be as sweet and adding a couple pinches of sugar will balance the flavor. Add the stale bread and let cook another 10 minutes. Typically in Tuscany this soup is pretty thick, I personally do not prefer my soup as thick. I use about half of the cubed bread. You may start with a handful of bread and adjust as you personally like.

I used ciabatta bread that was a few days old, then I sliced and cubed it and left out all day to dry out.

Garnish with a quarter of a burrata ball, drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil.

  • Author: Chef Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Italian