Pappa al Pomodoro,
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Pappa al Pomodoro


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta diced
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Two 14-ounce cans finely chopped or crushed tomatoes such as Cento
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth plus up to 2 cups more
  • 4 cups stale bread cubes cut into 1-inch cubes. I use an Italian type loaf of bread.
  • 4 + sprigs basil
  • A few pieces of Parmesan rind
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan


  • In a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat add the olive oil and pancetta.
    Pappa al Pomodoro, Italy,
  • Meaning, in the same pan, add the red onion, carrot, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the salt, canned tomatoes, chicken (or vegetable) broth, and bread cubes; stir to combine. Add the Parmesan rind and a few sprigs of basil.
    Pappa al Pomodoro, Italy,
  • Pappa al Pomodoro,
  • Pappa al Pomodoro, Italy,
  • Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle bubble. Continue to cook and after about 5 minutes, add in the pancetta.
  • Cook for 25 minutes, stirring often to break apart the bread and prevent anything sticking to the bottom of the pan. If the soup gets too thick, add extra broth as needed. There are times I have added up to 2.5 cups of additional broth as I didn't measure out the bread. It is supposed to be a thick and hearty soup so don't expect it to be a thin consistency.
    Pappa al Pomodoro,
  • Right before serving, add in the grated Parmesan cheese.


When ready to serve:
  • Grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top
  • A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chopped fresh basil for garnish