01 August 2006

We had the pappa al pomodoro again last night, cold, with olive oil and crumbled pecorino fresco. It was so freaking good. So here's the real recipe. I can't vouch for what it's like made with bagels from other places than Tal. It's a lot like gazpacho, but richer and rounder.

Pappa di Beighel al Pomodoro con Pecorino Fresco
Serves 6

1 large can San Marzano whole plum tomatoes
1 plain bagel, cut half, then each half into 12 wedges.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 ice cubes (1 tray)
Salt and black pepper to taste

extra virgin olive oil
pecorino fresco (maybe could substitute crumbled goat cheese)
fresh basil or parsley
  1. Place a seive over a bowl and empty can of tomatoes into it. One by one, remove tomatoes from seive, removing any remaining skin, then halving them in your hand with a dinner knife, squeezing them gently into the seive to remove most seeds and juice. Place on cutting board. Once you've halved all the tomatoes, chop them coarsely and re-add them to the strained tomatoe puree/juice in the bowl. Discard seeds and skins.
  2. Heat olive oil in heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pan. Add garlic and saute until golden brown.
  3. Add tomato mixture and bagel pieces.
  4. Add 1-2 cups water or stock. Stir until the bagel pieces have soaked up all the liquid. Only add as much water as you need to make sure the bagels get well-softened.
  5. Bring to simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will be where the crumb separates from the crust of the bagels. The crumb should dissolve and make the soup silky, whereas the crust should form small, chewy, dumpling-like chunks.
  6. Remove from heat, add one tray of ice cubes and stir until melted.
  7. Adjust seasoning and chill well.
  8. Serve drizzled with a lot of good olive oil, crumbled cheese, chiffonaded basil.

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