Pangrattato - the wonderful Italian name for the most basic of ingredients. With a little effort, it transforms any simple pasta dish into something divine. A great way to use up old breadcrumbs, it is quick and easy to prepare, especially if, like me, you keep a ready-tub of breadcrumbs in your freezer by simply whizzing up any stale old ends of bread you may have as you go along.
Pangrattato literally means ‘grated bread’ but when the crumbs are fried in olive oil, together with delicious savoury ingredients such as garlic, herbs, and a few chilli flakes the whole is magical and so much more than the sum of its parts.
This particular recipe throws everything you’ve got at it to provide a huge umami hit. Perfect for a simple dish, such as pasta all’aglio, olio e peperoncino (garlic, oil and chilli) or pasta al pomodoro (tomato). However, if your pasta dish is more complex, packing more flavours, you could make a simpler version with just a little garlic, seasoning, some fresh herbs and maybe a hint of lemon zest to finish off the dish.
If I have any leftover, I’ll reheat the next day to crisp it up and scatter over something like a simple tomato salad. Not a crumb is wasted!
Our workshops are run by award-winning sourdough baker Helen Underwood.