Bread – be it stale or nearly stale – often ends up in people’s bins...
My favourite ways of using up stale bread is for Bread and butter pudding, Ribollita (an Italian peasant soup which uses the stale bread to thicken it), also ideal for whizzing up in a blender to breadcrumbs, which can be frozen in resealable bags, for use in stuffing, crusts for meat and fish. Or best of all fried in a little olive oil with herbs and garlic to be sprinkled over freshly cooked pasta. (pangratatto).
I also freeze bread I know I'm going to toast. You pop frozen slices in the toaster.
Pangratto Recipe – for sprinkling over freshly cooked pasta
2–3 chunky pieces of stale wholemeal bread
1 garlic clove
1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
a good glug of olive oil.
For the pangrattato, give the bread and garlic a quick whizz in a food processor so you have breadcrumbs with a bit of texture.
In a large frying pan heat a generous glug of olive oil until hot. Add the whole rosemary sprig and the chilli, and fry for about 1–2 minutes.
Add the breadcrumbs and continue to cook for a couple of minutes until they become crisp and golden. Set aside on a plate on a sheet of kitchen paper, which will soak up any excess oil and leave the savoury crumbs nice and crispy. Discard the rosemary sprig.