The first time I saw my grandmother Laura make this I thought that this was certainly a mistake! I saw her wetting the bread under running water...it just didn`t seem right. But after tasting it I immediately realized that this was the most delicious and fresh dish I had ever tasted. So now I will tell you just like my grandmother told me MANGIA which means eat! You will not regret a bite of it!
- 4 large slices of hard bread
- 4 large tomatoes
- 10 basil leaves torn
- 1 cup of extra Virgin olive oil
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- Salt and Pepper
Making sure you have stale hard bread is the most important part. It should be the same consistency of bread that you would use to make breadcrumbs.Rub the garlic on each slice of bread but be careful not to overdo it otherwise it will be very spicy!
Open the kitchen faucet to lukewarm water. Run the bread under the running water back and forth or until the bread has become softer and is now more like the consistency of regular fresh bread.Take the halved tomato and using your hands sqeeze it so that the inside of the tomato comes out onto the bread and you are left with the skin only in your hand. Disgard the skin. Then tear 2-3 basil leaves per slice of bread.
Drizzle the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then cut into pieces.*Do not make these in advance as they will got soggy very quickly. I also like to wet the bread then char it on the grill for extra flavor!