It is not the Pope’s tomato

There are plenty first and even second timers coming to Umbria, Tuscany or Le Marche, who complain about the bread. There is no salt in the bread. It took me a few years to get used to it, but you know it works really well the very salty cured meats of the region and all the rest of just about everything else, which seems to be salted as the sea is salted.
The other thing is, without salt, the bread doesn’t go moldy, and you can make gorgeous salads with it. I love pappa al pomodoro, and if you have a favorite canned San Marzano tomato, use it until it is August when the fresh tomatoes are ready to step up the plate and have something to say for themselves. Get a little of the green gold going in your pan over a low heat. Add a few whole cloves of garlic and some fresh basil. Then the whole plum tomatoes with their juice (28 oz.). Cook just for five or ten minutes. Adjust the salt. Take the crust off the best loaf of country bread you can find. Rip it into the tomato sauce. Add a little more olive oil and torn basil, and adjust the salt. The bread should be totally soaked through with the tomato. You will be surprised how little bread it takes. Serve with grilled meat or fish, or as an appetizer with a bowl of marinated olives.

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