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Jul 16, 2014 11:25 AM

Giada says Italians like to use breadcrumbs instead of parmesan. Recipe examples?

Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian is on the in the background.
I hear Giada say:
"Italians like to use breadcrumbs instead of parmesan so you toss it with pasta it gives you sort of that same salty, um, 'bite' and that little bit of crunch without using parmesan cheese."

I ran to the remote and rewound.
Although I love pasta, 面, noodles, pick your cuisine, I barely know anything about ~genuine~ Italian food or ~authentic~ Italian American food
AND I am a lover of all things sauces...
so, 'Hounds, tell me about this totally "new to me" technique?

Here's the recipe in question:

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  1. My understanding is that they were used (at least in the Naples area where my family came from) when you couldn't afford parmesan, especially in aglio/olio preps where they'd soak up the flavor. Frugal way to use up stale bread and add some bulk to the dish. I don't know if it's a like so much as a substitute due to necessity. When they came over here, got jobs, were working, etc, my aunts used parm or romano.

    1. Toasted Bread Crumb, used as a topping for texture, is very popular in certain regions of Italy but, does not replace parm, and not just for pasta. She's delirious.

      1. Don't know how authentic it is, but I do know toasted breadcrumbs on certain pasta dishes is delicious.

          1. Pasta with Breadcrumbs is a traditional dish to celebrate St. Joseph's Day, which is 19 March. The following recipe is as good as any. Note that homemade breadcrumbs are far better than store bought.

            The wide macaroni represents the lumber Joseph used in his carpenter shop and breadcrumbs represent saw dust.

            For myself, I usually make an aglio oilo with anchovies and crushed red pepper and my own seasoned breadcrumbs. I have no idea where Giada got her idea about preferring crumbs.