Recipe by Jenn de la Vega
Panigritata is known as “poor-man’s Parmesan” because its a low-cost sprinkle condiment you can add to anything like pasta or pizza for a spicy, satisfying and crunchy bite. Even better, it is a sustainable way to use up bread crumbs or bread that you may not be able to eat right away. This works really well with the soft inside of a bread loaf. Use the hard outside crust in a bread pudding or as croutons.
2 cups soft bread insides
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried herb like thyme, rosemary, basil or oregano
¼ cup vegetable oil
Zest of 1 lemon
Break the bread up into rough crumbs with your fingers, making sure not to squish them. Spread them flat on a baking sheet and dehydrate for an hour at 170 degrees. Alternatively, toast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven, crack it open with a wooden spoon and let it cool completely. You can also leave them in the closed oven overnight.
The bread crumbs through be flinty and hard, no sign of moisture whatsoever.
In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Add the garlic, pepper and herbs. Continue to saute for 5 minutes until the garlic is browned and the crumbs are crispy. Turn off the heat and add the lemon zest.
Drain the crumbs on a pan lined with paper. When the panigritata is completely cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature for one week.
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