This dish is called Pappa al Pomodoro in Italian. loosely translated that means “mush of tomato.” Whatever it is called, its on the keeper list for me!
Two points or so of fresh tomatoes, cored and quartered
two garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 sprigs basil
About a cup and a half of torn pieces from a loaf of country-style bread, crust removed
Grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450
Core and quarter tomatoes. Save the cores and let them yield their tomato water.
Toss the tomatoes, fennel seed and garlic in 3 Tbsp. olive oil in an oven proof dish (I used my Dutch oven). Roast in oven, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and slightly browned and the juice they yield reduces a bit – 30 – 35 minutes.
Transfer tomato mixture to a large sauce pan (or put the Dutch oven on the stove top. Add basil springs and the torn bread. Mush it up in the tomatoes, I add a little tomato water to the pan at this time and let it reduce while the bread gets mushy. The mix will thicken as it cooks.
I cube the bread crusts and a little extra bread, toss it with the remaining olive oil and toast it in the oven to make croutons. to serve on the tomatoes. Also, the boule is so, good that I had to make a couple of slices of garlic and herb bread wrapped in foil and heated while the croutons toast.
Destined to be a summer favorite comfort food, mushed tomatoes are both simple and amazing!