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For Marika Contaldo Seguso, event planner, cookbook author and native of Milan who now resides in Venice, pappa al pomodoro, or Italian tomato and bread soup, is a simple but satisfying meal that comes together quickly. To boot, it requires only a handful of ingredients that she typically has on hand. A crusty, rustic day-old loaf that’s cut into cubes and left out at room temperature for a day or so is best; if your bread is fresh and you need to stale it in a hurry, cut it into ½-inch cubes, then dry it on a rimmed baking sheet in a 450°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Seguso says that pappa al pomodoro purists might balk at the Parmesan garnish, but the cheese is a typical Tuscan flourish for the soup.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
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