Pangrattato is easy to make and will be a simple, yet delicious addition to many of your favorite dishes. Made from stale bread, olive oil, garlic, salt, fresh rosemary, Italian parsley, and oregano, this simple recipe will soon become a staple in your kitchen.
Pangrattato is often referred to as a “poor man’s parmesan.” This crispy Italian breadcrumb mixture can be used as a topping or garnish to many of your favorite dishes, adding a crunchy texture and flavor to them.
I particularly like using these crispy breadcrumbs as a topping on pasta with olive oil and garlic. They also make a great addition to vegetable dishes and seafood.
Ingredients to make Pangrattato
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make my pangrattato recipe (crispy Italian breadcrumbs). In Chef Speak, this is called the Mise en Place, which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Can I change up the recipe?
Absolutely! Here are a few of my favorite variations.
- Herbs: Swap rosemary for thyme, oregano, parsley, or basil.
- Spices: Add red pepper, chili flakes, or cracked black pepper.
- Anchovy: Melt anchovy fillets into the oil for a fish recipe.
- Cheese: Add parmesan for a salt umami quality.
- Infused Oil: Use flavored oils like lemon, orange, chili, truffle, or herb oil.
- Citrus: Add zest of lemon, orange, or lime.
- Nuts: Include chopped almonds, pinenuts, or walnuts. Add nuts or seeds like pumpkin seeds for extra crunch.
What type of bread should I use to make Pangrattato?
I used Italian bread to make my pangrattato, but you can also use plain white bread, French baguettes, rolls, sourdough, rye, whole grain bread, or just about any of your favorite types of bread.
Use gluten-free bread to make a gluten-free version of these delicious crispy breadcrumbs.
How to make Pangrattato
- Tear the bread into small chunks and place them in a food processor.
- Pulse until you have coarse breadcrumbs.
Place the bread crumbs in a bowl and set aside until needed.
- Add the oil and garlic to a large frying pan, over low heat.
- Cook just until the oil begins to warm and the garlic is fragrant. The garlic shouldn’t fry.
- Add the breadcrumbs, chopped fresh rosemary, oregano, and salt to the pan.
- Stir well to coat in the garlicky oil.
- Increase the heat to medium-high. Stirring the entire time. Don’t let the breadcrumbs burn.
- After 2-3 minutes, add the parsley.
- Continue to stir over medium heat until golden brown (3-5 minutes).
Remove from the heat and immediately pour onto a baking sheet or serving platter to cool.
I love these Misen pans; they're better than my favorite name-brand 3-ply skillets! You'll love using these versatile and spacious cookware workhorses day in and day out. Perfect for searing, sautéing, and more.
Pangrattato makes a great topping for mac and cheese, potatoes au gratin, vegetables, salads, baked seafood dishes, and pasta.
These crispy Italian breadcrumbs can be used on a wide variety of dishes.
I love using them as a topping on spaghetti; the crunchy toasted pangrattato adds flavor and texture to pasta and works with a red sauce or white sauce.
Pangrattato really shines when used to top roasted vegetables. The nutty toasted flavor makes a delicious contrast to roasted asparagus, broccoli, green beans, and cauliflower.
- Use day-old stale bread or dry out fresh bread in a low oven for 5 minutes.
- Stir constantly while frying to prevent burning.
- Let cool to room temperature before storing to maintain crispiness.
Yes, you can. But stale bread is drier and crisps up better. If using fresh bread, dry it out in a low oven before using.
Use dry, stale bread to make the recipe, and use moderate heat to avoid burning. Stirring constantly for even cooking and crispiness.