Little Cubed Bread Sauce

La Salsa di Briciole

Mary Ann Esposito

MAKES 2 CUPS

Stale bread has new meaning in this sauce for pinci. Use bread that has a coarse crumb, as it will hold its shape. La Salsa di Briciole, literally, a sauce made with bits or morsels of bread, exemplifies the true definition of cucina povera, simple country cooking where the ingenuity of the cook and the lesson of "waste not, want not" holds firm belief in the Tuscan kitchen.

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
1 small hot red pepper, broken into pieces
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 3/4 cups very small cubed stale bread
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 whole basil leaves

DIRECTIONS

Pour the olive oil into a sauté pan large enough to hold the bread cubes in a single layer. Add the hot pepper and swirl in the oil pressing on the pieces with a wooden spoon. Stir in the garlic and cook until it softens but does not brown. Stir in the bread cubes and coat them in the oil but do not brown them; they should remain light golden. Stir in the salt and keep the sauce warm while the pinci are cooking.

Drain the pinci, transfer them to a large platter and pour the sauce over the top. Toss gently to coat all the strands with the sauce. Sprinkle the tomatoes over the top and garnish with the basil leaves. Serve hot.

item recipe is featured in Episode 0 of Season 0.

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