Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Pancotto is a frugal, hearty dish

This dish is hearty and delicious when served piping hot on a cool day and is just as good when served cold on a hot day.

It also is a life saver when your budget is low, and your family stares at you hungrily.

The Italians call it pancotto, and there are as many family recipes for it as can be imagined. It is a frugal dish, hearty and filling. Add a lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano to it if you like, use a little stock or a glass of wine to fortify it. Make this your own recipe in any way you like.


1 loaf day old crusty bread

3-4 very ripe tomatoes

5 cup water or stock

1-2 chopped cloves of garlic

Olive oil


Add a little olive oil to a pan, add the garlic and cook for two minutes, now add the tomatoes, seed them if you like, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Bring a cup of stock or water to a boil, add the bread torn into shreds and mix well.  Add the softened bread, the rest of the stock, and the tomatoes to a large pan and simmer until the soup is thick. Serve in individual bowls with a good slosh of olive oil and lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve hot.