Skip to main content


Quite simply, the Italian for breadcrumbs – pane is bread and grattatugiato is to grate – and this is the perfect way to use up stale bread or the ends of a loaf. It also makes a great vegan alternative to Parmesan or pecorino to finish a dish. I like to add it for its lovely crunchy texture.

Just put torn pieces of bread into the oven at about 160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4 (ideally when you are already roasting something else) for about 20 minutes – you want the bread to brown a little, but the important thing is to make sure that it has dried out properly. I don’t add olive oil at this stage, or the bread won’t fully crisp.

Let the toasted bread cool completely and add it to the bowl of a food processor. If you process it when it’s still slightly warm, the bread will just go soggy which isn’t what you want at all.

What you add to the mixture is up to you and will depend on how much bread you’ve used. For a small amount (4 or 5 slices) I generally add 1 small garlic clove, ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes, a little olive oil and some sea salt flakes. Add a generous handful of picked parsley leaves, then blitz everything together to make coarse crumbs. You can try other herb combinations such as thyme and lemon zest, or a tablespoon of rosemary leaves, a particularly good accompaniment to fish dishes.

Keep the pangrattato in an airtight container (not in the fridge) for a week or so, and add to soups, salads, to top a macaroni or cauliflower cheese, or simply use as a topping for your pasta.