Sometimes called “poor man’s parmesan”, pangritata is a great way to use up stale bread. Enjoy the simple combo of lemon, parsley, garlic and caper flavors.
For a long time, I couldn’t cook a simple pasta dish. I was hooked on trying to cram in as many veggies as possible into each meal. I was nutrient obsessed. One of the drawbacks with this is, that the more ingredients you add, the bigger the production gets as a result.
Life can get a bit hectic sometimes, so don’t forget to take a step back, and eat spaghetti with oil, garlic, lemon and a fried egg. That’s what I loved about this meal – it’s simplicity.
You may be asking yourself – what is this pangritata business? Pangritata, also known as ‘the poor man’s parmesan’ involves adding crispy fried breadcrumbs, flavoured with rosemary and garlic, to pasta.
I was first introduced to this concept whilst watching one of the many Jamie Oliver cooking shows where he coats a oozy cheesy pasta with pan fried bread crumbs. Genius.
The al dente pasta, parsley, garlicky fried egg, parmesan cheese and pangritata all come together in unison and make this dish a humble, fantastic dinner. It is also so easy (and cheap) that it would make a great meal to serve at for a dinner party with some sides.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup fresh or stale coarse breadcrumbs (pule stale bread in food processor if making)
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- enough spaghetti for 2
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon small capers, drained (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Lemon juice to drizzle (optional)
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the breadcrumbs and sauté until golden and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped rosemary, quickly remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Mix in lemon juice and set aside
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to packet instructions.
- Wipe out the skillet from the pangritata, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter and melt together over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and immediately break the eggs into the skillet. If need be, lower the heat a bit. You want the garlic to cook without burning and the egg whites to set, but the yolks to remain runny ooey gooey.
- Drain the pasta well, reserving ½ cup (with a mug) of the cooking liquid. This is the best thing Jamie Oliver ever taught me.
- Add pasta back to the pot, pour over the eggs and all the fat from the skillet, add the parsley and capers and toss well, breaking up the eggs as you do. Add in some of the reserved cooking water to combine all the ingredients.
- Plate the pasta and eggs, season well with freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, sprinkle with the grated cheese and then top with the pangritata. Enjoy!