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"This is a very comforting meal," says Rach. It's two very simple Tuscan dishes—stale bread and tomato soup served alongside sausage and white beans with sage. They are inexpensive to make and both can be prepared ahead of time and reheated. Bonus: They get even better as they sit!
For the pappa al pomodoro, preheat oven to 350°F and toast bread until golden and fragrant.
In a large deep skillet or a cast-iron enamel soup pot, heat EVOO, 3 turns of the pan or pot, over medium heat and stir in garlic 1 to 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes, hand-crushed as you go. Add passata and season with salt and pepper or red pepper. Add stock and basil, bring to a bubble and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Add bread and allow it to soften and expand 10 to 12 minutes more.
Serve in shallow bowls and top with grated cheese, more EVOO and basil.
For the sausage and white beans, in deep skillet, heat 3 turns of the pan of EVOO over medium heat. Add fennel and onion, season with salt and pepper and soften 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sausage and lightly brown and crumble the sausage. Add the white wine and let it absorb. Add beans, sage and stock and simmer on low until ready to serve. Garnish with reserved sage.