Chickpea Pangrattato | Gluten-Free Italian “Breadcrumbs”

I’ll admit a lack of comprehensive knowledge of  Celiac Disease, although some of my blogger friends suffer from it.  I know it is a terrible thing, leading to a lot of pain if you ingest gluten, which is in practically everything these days, due to cross contamination.  I can only imagine how hard it is to be as careful as you must while still loving food in all it’s glory.

I had a happy accident in the kitchen here recently, which lead me to this tasty discovery of a lovely, crunchy, garlicky substitute for one of my most favorite of Italian toppings: pangrattato.   It is a poor person’s substitute for Parmesan: usually leftover bread crumbs, toasted up in olive oil along with some garlic, salt and perhaps a smidge of chopped parsley.

Pangrattato, and now this clever mimic,  is heavenly sprinkled over (equally gluten-free) risotto.  I vow to make it a replacement topping for the cracker crumbs my Grandmother would fry in copious amounts of butter and smother cauliflower.  I am dreaming up ways to use it.  It is now protein, instead of carb, and one ingredient to the many that are in commercially produced breadcrumbs.  And to be honest, it makes me feel just a little smug with the chef-iness of it all.  A nice perk.

For a quick version, in a food processor, finely chop cooked, drained chickpeas, until they are the size of, you guessed it, breadcrumbs.  In a medium saute pan, add a tablespoon or two of good olive oil and a smashed clove of garlic.  Heat until shimmery.  Add the chickpeas and a bit of salt.  Fry for four to five minutes until a deep golden brown.  Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Allow to cool, then add in a tablespoon or less of chopped parsley and mix.  Top with roasted vegetables, risotto or anything you can dream up.

Playlist included Lovers in Japan, by Coldplay.

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2 Comments to “Chickpea Pangrattato | Gluten-Free Italian “Breadcrumbs””

  1. Wouldn’t the chickpeas become a paste? I am just getting into using them (trying your falafel this monday!) and I haven’t tried to “crisp” them yet???

    • If the chickpeas are drained of all their liquid and fairly dry, they process to a crumbly texture. They only get to a paste (i.e., hummus) if you really process them a long time and add in liquid such as tahini or olive oil. When you fry them, they’ll get a little foamy for a bit, then that subsides and you’re left with toasted chickpeas. Good luck!

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