Friday, July 20, 2012

Pane Cotto (Cooked Bread)

One thing I love about my in laws is that they make so many unique dishes I've never heard of before. We're all Italian but they are off the boat Sicilians so they've got a few more secrets up their sleeves. This is a dish I've heard them talk about before, but I've never had it prior to making it myself.

The recipe name literally translates to "cooked bread" and calls for a day or so old Italian bread, something I typically refuse to eat (yes I am picky in the sense that I only eat fresh bread!) but alas I found myself taking home two loaves of old, hard, crust bread. The recipe was simple enough that I decided to brave it on my own and it came out delicious! The addition of the shaved Parmesan on top was my own twist because I love the saltiness it adds to it. I served this meal with some meatballs and sauce which I thought paired with the dish perfectly. It's a perfect rainy day, stay inside kind of meal just like today is on the east coast.

Pane Cotto
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes     I     Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 loaf old Italian bread (make sure it has become pretty hard, it should be a day or two old)
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely diced
  • 3 cups of water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Pour a little olive oil in the bottom of a large pot and saute the garlic until it has a nice golden color to it.

While the garlic is cooking diced the bread into approximately 1 inch cubes. Pour the water and the bread into the pot with the garlic and stir allowing the bread to soak up the water. You will most likely need to add in more water which you can add in one half of a cup at a time. Allow the water to come to a boil and fully absorb into the bread.

The goal is to end up with a very soft, bread pudding like texture. Before serving add some salt and pepper to taste and you're good to go, no more wasted bread around this household!

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