Pangritata or Pangrattato is simply leftover breadcrumbs that are fried with flavourings and olive oil to create a crispy crunchy, savoury addition to pasta dishes. It's also sometimes called 'Poor Mans Parmesan' and is a very common addition to pasta in Italy and is used as a cheap substitute for expensive parmesan cheese.
I use the tasty crunchy Pangritata all the time on pasta, with a modern, vegan addition of nutritional yeast (sometimes known as nooch in by the vegans in the know) to make it extra cheesy. Probably my favourite pasta dishes to add it to are those that are made with a simple pesto such as Vegan Parsley Pesto with Pistachios. It's also great sprinkled over stews like my fave Borlotti Bean, Sweet Corn & Tomato Stew
You really only need three ingredients to make pangritata,
- Breadcrumbs- Make your own breadcrumbs with dry day-old bread whizzed up in a food processor, or cheat a little and use fluffy light panko breadcrumbs, which are what I prefer to use.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Good quality extra-virgin olive oil adds to the overall flavour and creates the crunch.
- Flakey Sea Salt- I love using good flakey sea salt as it adds that essential extra crunch.
Then choose your optional flavourings!
- Thyme or Oregano- Dried thyme and/or oregano are a must for me. You can leave them out, but I love how they add an extra flavour profile.
- Nutritional Yeast Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, sold in flakes, it has a cheesy, slightly nutty flavour and is high in B12, folic acid, selenium & zinc. It's brilliant for adding a cheesy flavour to dishes. This isn't a traditional addition, so feel free to leave it out. But I LOVE it!
- Chilli Flakes- optional, but those who love chilli will love the addition.
- Garlic powder or fresh garlic- I don't add this to my pangritata, but you can if you like!
- Lemon Zest- optional but fresh. Good for a summer pasta.
Making pangritata is super simple! Head down the page to see the recipe card for the full quantities.
If you want to make it with your own homemade breadcrumbs, use some white crusty bread that has been left out to dry up a bit, then blitz it up in a food processor
- In a non stick pan, add the breadcrumbs.
2) Add the spices and seasonings Drizzle olive oil and gently toast over a medium heat.
3) Finally add the nutritional yeast and toast a little longer. Be careful not to burn the pangritata!
4) The pangritata/pangrattato should be golden and crispy crunchy when ready. Taste and add more salt or seasonings as needed!
Hint: Keep an eye on the pan when you are toasting the breadcrumbs. You really do not want to burn them, and they turn from golden to char quite quickly!
🌿Substitutions & Variations!
This recipe is super simple, so you can really choose your own flavourings to suit your own pallets.
- Gluten-free- Use gluten-free breadcrumbs. Either make your own or buy some.
- Other herbs- Dried parsley, oregano and thyme are all delicious. You could also use dried dill or chives.
You really only need a good non-stick frying pan for this pangritata recipe, unless you make your own breadcrumbs, in which case a food processor would be handy.
I love using my Kenwood processor. It's very old now, but you can find a similar one on Amazon.
I like to make these crispy breadcrumbs in big batches and keep them in an airtight container, ready for immediate sprinkling over pasta dishes. The pangritata keeps for up to a week as long as no moisture gets into the container!
Pangritata is crispy fried breadcrumbs that are added to pasta for crunch and flavour. The word comes from the Italian: Pane: Bread, and Gritatto: grated. Literally, bread grated. It is also called Pangritatto.
Sprinkle the crispy breadcrumbs over pasta as a substitute for parmesan cheese. You can also sprinkle it on soups and stews for added texture.
It depends on the type of breadcrumbs used to make the pangritatata. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make it gluten-free.
Store pangritata for up to a week (or maybe a little longer) in an airtight container.
Yes it is, as long as you do not add any cheese or anchovies! It makes a great substitute for parmesan cheese on pasta for vegans.
I like to sprinkle Pangritata or Pangritatto on pasta and soups. Take a look at the links below for some yummy ideas you where could sprinkle it onto:
- Creamy Cannellini Bean Tomato Pasta
- Smoked Garlic & Wild Mushroom Pasta
- Spiced Black Bean and Roasted Tomato Soup
- Soothing Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup
This is one of our super quick vegan recipes. If you like simple and quick recipes, then check out this round up of over 35 Delicious Lazy Vegan Recipes.
Pangritata(Pangrattato) Crispy Breadcrumbs for Pasta
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- Put all the ingredients into a small frying pan except for the nutritional yeast.50 g panko breadcrunbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme or other herbs, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
- Gently fry until golden.
- Add the nutritional yeast & taste to see if you want more salt.1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Add to pasta or soups.