The sheep in the adjoining field are very keen on bread, in all its varied forms. They are keen on it because we, not being farmers but eaters of farmers’ produce, have fed them the bread, for which we have no further use, and the sheep couldn’t be happier. They could be happier, but couldn’t we all. Giving them stale bread is as far as I can go in bringing happiness to sheep, particularly as the sheep in question are barely acquaintances of mine. A line has to be drawn somewhere and drawing it between me and sheep pleasuring is in the true spirit of the Alamo. Sacrifices have to be made.
Already I hear an uproar in the cheap seats ” Shame on you, sir, casting brioche before swine…or sheep like swine”. There is no question that I have been remiss when it comes to stale bread. I know I should be making wonderful soups with stale bread, fresh tomatoes and olive oil….which I do. I should be tearing it, toasting it and titivating salads with it. But I forget because I’ve seen or thought something more glamorous or toothsome. And then, Epiphany, I remembered “pangritata” which simultaneously put the sheep on a carb free slimming diet whilst providing us with joy and deliciousness. The simplicity of the “poor man’s parmesan” suits me admirably. I’m waiting for Lidl’s to make their well priced Parmesan even better priced….cheaper is the word I’m looking for.
The delight of pangritata is that there is no recipe nor rules. Cucina Povera doesn’t work well with rules except the need for Cucina when you’re Povera. In this particular case I created some bread crumbs from the end of an old pain cereale. I added lemon zest, black pepper and ssa salt. I did also add some poor man’s Parmesan Reggiano to the poor man’s bread crumbs which is unfair, but so is life. To prepare the pangritata for the pasta: heat a little olive oil in a pan, add the breadcrumbs and let them gently turn a golden colour. Tip a spoonful over your pasta and stir it through. Very good and sheep.