Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cheap Eats - Poor Man's Parmesan

Poor Man's Parmesan with olive oil, lemon and edamame beans

Cheap Eats 
Poor Man's Parmesan (Pangritata)

I can't remember where I saw this idea but its been one on my list of things to do for a while. I love Parmesan cheese but as a weekly ingredient with all the other expenses these days (nappies and baby stuff) its not a regular feature. This recipe gives pasta texture and crunch and a lovely garlic flavour.

All you need for the basic mix some bread - any will do fresh, frozen or even stale and some garlic, Olive oil and salt.  To bump up the poor man's Parmesan you can add herbs such as parsley, chives, basil, oregano, rosemary or chili

Other ideas with poor man's Parmesan

 with grilled asparagus, capsicum (peppers) or aubergine
 with a fried egg
 with crispy ham, bacon, shredded corned beef
 with peas or edamame beans
 with garlic sauteed spinach
 with tinned tuna, salmon or sardines
 with rocket or baby spinach topped with walnuts
 with fresh or grilled cherry tomatoes
 with a marmite sauce (Nigella)
 with vegetable ribbons (carrots and courgettes)
 with lemon, chili, olives and anchovies
 with crumbled feta or blue cheese
 With steamed mussels
 with flaked smoked fish or a firm white fish

How to make 'EASY'
Toast 4 slices of bread (or similar)
In a food processor blitz the bread with 4 cloves of fresh garlic, salt to taste and I added a handful of parsley from my garden.
Toast in a pan with olive oil until lightly browned.
Stir through steaming hot pasta with a good splash of olive oil. I added lemon and edamame beans to the photo above.
Simple, cheap and delicious
Vanessa X


  1. Interesting ingredient! I bet most people have these ingredients on hand too. Do you use up 4 slices/4 cloves at a time or does it keep for a little while?

  2. Good question - I used 4 slices (thick brown) and 4 cloves and it made a bowl full of crumbs - it would easily do 4 people. Yes, I actually kept the excess in the fridge for a week before I did the photo (wrapped in cling film) as I had to make one to taste first... Its really adaptable and delicious!

  3. Easy peasy and looks great, I made a simple arabiatta pasta last night and simplest are often the best