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Pappa al pomodoro

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8
Pappa al pomodoro
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times )
1

Heat a heavy pot over medium heat until hot. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan by 1/8-inch, ½ to 1 cup. Add the garlic and sage and cook until the garlic is aromatic, but before it browns, and the sage begins to crisp, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, along with a tablespoon of salt and the basil.

2

Cover and cook over medium heat until the tomatoes give off their liquid and begin to break down, checking and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 10 minutes.

3

Remove the lid and continue to break down the tomatoes using a potato masher or sturdy whisk. Taste and check the sauce for salt, and add a few grinds of black pepper or a healthy pinch of chile flakes.

4

Remove the sauce from heat and run it through a food mill, then place back in the pot and bring to a simmer. Add half of the bread, torn into big pieces, along with a good drizzle of olive oil. (Don’t worry about the hard crust; it will soften in the sauce.)

5

Bring the sauce back to a simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat, cover and set aside for at least 15 minutes to give the bread time to soften and expand. Stir to check the consistency; for thicker sauce, add more bread, one slice at a time, and giving it time to break down before adding any more.


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