Aromi per Panature, Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Panature are seasoned breadcrumbs of the sort one uses to flavor pasta, or dredge meats or fish in prior to frying them. Though one can buy them in the supermarket, and it’s likely a good idea to keep some of the supermarket seasoned breadcrumbs handy for when time is short, it’s also nice to make them at home: On the one hand, you can use ingredients that the commercial producers don’t include either because they’re expensive or too perishable for long storage, for example Parmigiano Reggiano, and on the other, they make excellent gifts.

Though you can use standard jars to store your seasoned breadcrumbs, if you plan to give them as gifts they will look nicer in small decorative jars, covered with patterned paper tied in place with a length of twine or straw.

To make a dozen 1-cup containers of seasoned breadcrumbs you’ll need:

  • 10 ounces (280 g) bread crumbs (this will likely be a bit more than 5 cups)
  • A large bunch of parsley, weighing about 1/2 pound (200 g)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 pound (200 g) corn flakes
  • 1/4 pound (100 g) shelled pistachios
  • 1 or more hot peppers, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (or more, to taste)
  • 2 cups (200 g) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (100 g) finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 6 ounces (150 g) walnut meats
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The above is indicative; you can vary the spices to suit your taste, for example using green peppercorns instead of hot pepper, adding a dash of oregano, some freshly grated lemon rind, or whatever strikes you fancy. Even commercial spice mixes such as lemon pepper or Cajun seasoning mix. Feel free to experiment!

Having said this, what to do with the above?

Garlic & Parsley Panatura
Skin the garlic. Rinse the parsley and pat it dry. Mince the garlic and parsley very finely, and combine them in a bowl with 7 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) of the breadcrumbs. Adjust seasoning.

Flour and Fennel Panatura
Combine the cornmeal and the all-purpose flour. Briefly whir the fennel seeds in a blender and combine them with the flours, seasoning the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Cornflake and Pistachio Panatura
Crumble the cornflakes somewhat by whirring them briefly in a blender. Stem, seed, and rib the hot pepper, and whir it with the pistachio nuts in a blender, using short bursts to keep from liquefying the nuts. Combine the cornflakes, pistachio nuts, and paprika, and check seasoning.

Walnut and Cheese Panatura
Whir the walnut meats in a blender, using short bursts to keep from them from liquefying and giving off their oil. Combine the whirred nuts with the grated Parmigiano and the remaining bread crumbs, and check seasoning.

Divvy your panaturas into jars. Label them, and put the first three in a cool dark place. The cheese panatura should instead go into the fridge. They’ll keep for a few weeks, though they will lose their potency with time. As I said, they make a perfect gift, too.

And finally, what to do with them?

They’ll all be nice additions to a simple bowl of spaghetti aglio e olio, and will add a nice touch if you dust them over casseroles and other baked dishes, including pasta dishes that you run under a broiler. They’ll also work well whenever a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, for example in the preparation of stuffed artichokes or zucchini. Finally, they’ll be perfect for frying: Dredge what you plan to cook in lightly beaten egg, coat it thoroughly with the panatura, and fry it until it’s crisp and golden brown. Use different panature, and you’ll enjoy a range of flavors at table.

In particular, the garlic and parsley panatura is especially good with fried, baked, and broiled  vegetables, meats, or fish. The cornflake and pistachio panatura is quite nice with fried meats, and is also nice for coating meatballs or vegetable croquettes before they go into the oil. The cheese and walnut panatura will be nice with veal, turkey or chicken scallops, and also with fish filets or slices.

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Categories: Sauces, and Preparations, some of which go into other dishes

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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