Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pasta con il Pangrattato (Pasta with breadcrumbs)

Evan came back from Sunday lunch at my Mom's a few weeks back and said "Mom Gram made really good stuff today". Stuff. Ok, what kinda stuff? "Macaroni stuff with breadcrumbs and junk, it was good". Ok so we have stuff and junk? Hmmmm. I called my Mom so I could be sure I added the proper amount of stuff and junk in this macaroni and breadcrumbs thing. Turns out she made Pasta con il Pangrattato, commonly known to the non-Italian speaking crowd as pasta with breadcrumbs, which I am told was a staple in most homes in Italy and Sicily when times were tough and there was no meat or nary a meatball to be found. Since Evan the picky eater said it was good, I thought I would give it a try with my little twist on it of course. I did change some of my mother's amounts cause that is the kind of rebellious daughter I am.

Pasta con il Pangrattato
Pasta with breadcrumbs
Printable recipe
1 lb Pasta
3/4 cup good olive oil
2 - 2/12 cups breadcrumbs (preferably home made* see note)
3 - 5 cloves of crushed garlic
6 - 8 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
olives (I used just about a full can , chopped)
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley
Salt & pepper

You can use spaghetti for this recipe but try to use pasta that will "hold on" to the ingredients or are that are tublar in shape to give the ingredients someplace to hide in. Pastas like fusilli, farfalle, orecchiette, rigatoni, etc. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. In a pan large enough to hold all the pasta, heat the oil on medium heat. Don’t let this get too hot. Add the breadcrumbs and garlic and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring constantly. At this point I added in the bacon and olives and immediately added the pasta to the pan. Lightly toss to combine all the ingredients. Top with Parmesan & fresh parsley. You can even drizzle on some more oil if top you’d like.

* Homemade breadcrumbs are easy and eliminate the need to throw out old, stale bread. Line your bread up on a sheet pan and place it into a 400 degree oven for about 10 - 15 minutes. Check the bread and when it’s good and dry remove it from the oven, and pulse in a food processor until it’s the consistency you want.
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