Posts tagged “basil

Italian Traditions: What You Don’t Know About Pizza Margherita

As many of you know, Pizza Margherita is much-loved Italian tradition, and a favorite meal both in Europe and around the world. What you may not know, however, is the fascinating legend of the pizza’s origins.

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

While many have debated the true history of Pizza Margherita, the story goes that shortly after Italy unified in 1861, King Umberto I and his queen, Margherita, took a visit to Naples. While there, the Queen became bored of the French cuisine that was standard throughout Europe at that time. She requested that a local pizza maker present her with something a little more Italian. (more…)

Summer recipe: Pappa col pomodoro by @DoBianchi

Such a great summer dish from Tuscany… a recipe by one of our favorite Italophile bloggers, Do Bianchi

Summer is here and that means it’s time for fresh tomatoes and pappa col pomodoro, classic Tuscan tomato bread soup — a summertime favorite.

To make pappa col pomdoro at our house, I carefully washed and finely chopped the stalks of two leeks. And then I sautéed them in San Giuliano extra-virgin olive oil from Alghero (my favorite commercial olive oil) with two cloves garlic, peeled and minced.

And then added one jar of puréed tomato (making sure that the only ingredients were salt and tomato), seasoned with salt, pepper, and chili flakes, and then added a generous amount of freshly torn basil.

“Texas basil.” (Yes, I know, everything is bigger in Texas.)

Then I added stock and cooked the soup for about thirty minutes over medium heat and removed.

Then I added the 4-day-old stale bread. It’s important to let the bread soak in the soup for at least 30 minutes. I used a immersion blender to purée the bread after it had sopped up all the soup (in the olden days, I used to use a vegetable mill but, I gotta say, the immersion blender was awesome).

I served the Pappa room temperature, drizzled with olive oil and garnished with a basil leaf.

That’s how we make Pappa col Pomodoro at our house. 🙂

—Jeremy Parzen (