One for the Table: food, politics & love

I am new to the world of blogs and bloggers and rely on the kindness of strangers to send me reviews (of my work) or interesting articles on meaningful topics. Just this morning I was sent this missive from Lisa Dinsmore, an editor of the brilliant blog called "One for the Table."  It is one of the most thoughtful reviews I've received.  It seems as though Lisa has already cooked more than 10 dishes from Radically Simple and, from the sound of it, seems very happy.  Me, too.  Lisa has a lovely way of pairing recipes and you might enjoy taking her lead as you read the review.  Her favorites so far: "Lemony Arugula & Sun-dried Tomato Salad with Smoked Mozzarella that we paired with Gold's Chicken Parmigiana, which delivered the flavors you expected but in a lighter, fresher way; Pappa al Pomodoro, a tomato, cheese and bread soup that was hearty enough to satisfy my meat-eating husband; Manchego Chicken with Prosciutto and Arugula paired with Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dates, and Steak Tenderloin with Balsamic, Rosemary & Gorgonzola paired with White Beans, Spinach, Tomatoes & Rosemary, made our usual weeknight dinners much more special." Lisa also took a beautiful photo of my Pappa al Pomodoro -- recipe below.  It might be just the thing for Sunday supper on a cold winter night.

Pappa al Pomodoro This famously soupy dish, thickened with bread instead of pasta, is much like a pasta course--deeply satisfying and a great way to begin a meal -- or become the meal, when paired with a substantial vegetable or salad.  It's a good excuse to use your best extra-virgin olive oil, which should be drizzled on right before serving.  A tip: The best way to "chop" canned tomatoes is to use scissors to snip them right in the can.

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced 28-ounce can plum tomatoes in puree, chopped 2 cups chicken stock 4 ounces baguette, cut into small pieces, about 5 packed cups 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil large pinch red pepper flakes 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, or a mixture

Heat the oil in a 4-quart pot.  Add the garlic and cook until soft but not brown, 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and stock; bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes over high heat.  Add the bread and cook 8 minutes, mashing with a potato masher until the ingredients are integrated and the bread is very soft.  Add the basil, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook 2 minutes longer.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Ladle into bowls and drizzle with more oil.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.  Serves 4