One of the reasons I love Italian food is that nothing goes to waste…….not even bread! I made a picnic lunch the other day which required a loaf of uncut sourdough. I pulled out the centre and stuffed the shell (recipe to follow) with lots of delectable delights but was left over with a heap of bread dough. Pangrattato crumbs are a crunchy toasted mix, lightly seasoned with anchovies and garlic that add another dimension to a combination of sweet fennel and prawns tossed through linguine. The result was sensational!
You will need:
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
300gm of green prawn meat, roughly chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
1 small fennel bulb, core and tops removed and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
grated rind of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup of white wine
1/4 cup of chopped italian parsley
1 x 500gm packet of linguine
1/2 a cup of freshly grated parmesan
sea salt and pepper
lemon wedges to serve
For the Pangrattato:
11/2 cups of stale bread (crusts removed if using sliced)
1 clove of garlic
6 anchovy fillets
1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
To make the crumbs, place the bread in a food processor and pulse until you have chunky bread crumbs. Add the garlic and anchovies and pulse until they are all blended and everything is mixed together really well. Heat the oil in a pan and lightly fry the crumbs, stirring frequently until golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow the breadcrumbs to drain on absorbent paper. Let them cool and they should be lovely and golden and crunchy.
For the pasta sauce, heat a pan on a medium heat, add the oil and lightly fry the garlic, onion, chilli and fennel until the fennel is nice and soft. Add the lemon rind, juice and wine and allow to reduce by half. The onion will go a lovely bright pinky colour (because of the lemon juice).
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. When the pasta is almost ready add the prawns to the sauce and fry for 2-3 minutes. Stir through the parsley, season with salt and pepper and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the mix and toss really well so the pasta is coated and glossy. If you want to add a little more olive oil go ahead.
Divide the pasta among four large bowls, spooning out equal portions of the prawns. Top each bowl with the crunchy pangrattato and some grated parmesan. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with a juicy wedge of lemon……Bellissimo!