Pappa al Pomodoro con Burrata

I am back in California and still struggling with jet lag and culture shock. That happens every time I go back home and stay longer than a week! The good thing is that I always get over it. As promised, during my trip I badgered many of my friends and asked them for a recipe, any recipe they wanted, just one of their family recipe. I would like to say Grazie to them for sharing so generously their cherished family secrets. Many of these are recipes that have been passed on for generations.

Today we will make Pappa al Pomodoro with Burrata.

Pappa al Pomodoro is one of the many Italian poor man’s soups. In the old days it was made with left over bread so not to waste anything.  It’s a simple fresh tomato and old bread soup. It can be served warm or room temperature, this version will be served warm.

Burrata is a delicious kind of mozzarella cheese. The center is soft and buttery and the outside shell is solid. The name Burrata comes from the word “Burro” (Butter in Italian, not to be mixed up with the word “Burro” in Spanish which means donkey. I learned this lesson the hard way many years ago in a restaurant in Spain when I asked to have some Burro with my bread!!)

You will need:

1/4 cup oil – 2 garlic cloves chopped – 1 pd fresh tomatoes peeled and chopped – 6 leaves of basil – salt pepper – 2 1/2 cups hot broth (bouillon will do) – 3 slices of hard artesian bread torn in small pieces – 1/2 Burrata.

In a medium size pan put oil and garlic and sauté. As soon as the garlic starts changing color add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes.

Add hot broth and bread and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off fire and stir, keep stirring every once in a while until bread is all broken up. At this point the dish is ready, but we are making a variation of the original recipe so keep reading.

Preheat oven to 350. Divide the soup in 4 ramekins, place 3 small pieces of Burrata in the middle of every dish and bake for 3 or 4 minutes or until mozzarella starts melting. Sprinkle a little extra virgin olive and enjoy!

Cook with your heart!  Rima.

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