You know when you leave something for a while and intend to come back really soon and then it's Reading Week and you go out of town and then it's finals time and you're busy with marking and exams and then when you finally get back to it it's been four months and it's May already? Yeah. That happened to me one time, too.
ANYWAYS enough about me. Let's have some food.
I swear one time I had this recipe for some kind of Italian bread stew but I looked for it tonight, because that's what I felt like eating, and all I could find were recipes for Italian bread SALAD or Italian bread SOUP and I didn't want either of those. So I just wung it. (Wung is the past tense of wing, in case you didn't know.) Actually, I'm kind of in the process of winging it right now, so if you ever see this, it means I was successful. If not, then I guess you're not reading this right now. Who knows, maybe after four months no one is reading it anyways!
If you feel like eating my made-up recipe for Italian bread STEW, then you need the following:
3 cups of cubed stale bread
1 large tin of diced tomatoes
1.5 c cooked white beans
1 diced onion
1-5 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 5 because I'm on Team Buffy)
[Optional: some diced prosciutto, which I used because it was in my freezer and I felt like it]
1 diced carrot
two bay leaves
fresh or dried basil to taste. I added about 3 TBS fresh chopped that I had frozen from the summer!
a sprig of fresh rosemary or a bit of dried rosemary
garlic salt (if you are so inclined)
salt and pepper
some lovely minced parsley
1. Start by heating a glug of olive oil in a deep-ish pan. Sautee your onions and your prosciutto, if you're using it. Then add the garlic and cook until it's fragrant.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (down to where it says olive oil) and cover and cook for 10 more minutes on medium and then on low for another 30 minutes.
3. In the last 10 minutes, heat some more olive oil in another pan. Toast the breadcrumbs in the olive oil, tossing with garlic salt to taste. GARLIC! I would recommend watching the breadcrumbs closely as some of mine got a bit overly toasted and had to be eaten before their time.
4. Taste the stew for seasonings and adjust if you need to. When your breadcrumbs are all toasty and garlicky, serve the stew in bowls and top with a heap of breadcrumbs! And parsley! You could even sprinkle some parmesan cheese on there if you were really feeling decadent!
VERDICT: DELICIOUS. Hence my posting of it here.