Pappa al Pomodoro is a simple and interesting dish. Tomato pap—or tomato soup, who’d have guessed? It’s a mixture of ripe tomatoes, stale bread (as in so many Italian and especially Tuscan recipes), olive oil, fresh herbs and a light broth or water.
Much of Italy’s bread goes stale after just a couple of days, at which time it’s made the transformation from “eating” bread into “cooking” bread. When it has lost its moisture, that moisture can be replaced with better stuff, like tomato juice and good olive oil, essential for this dish. The same is true of the Tuscan bread salad called panzanella.