Breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper are used to make Muddica Atturrata (toasted crumbs), a Sicilian condiment.
This dish can be used as a base to which other Sicilian ingredients can be added. The key to this recipe is toasting the breadcrumbs well before allowing them to absorb the garlic-flavored olive oil.
The golden sand of Sicily must be reflected in the color and consistency of the breadcrumbs.
The grandparents called it “poor cheese,” since while the wealthy could complete their plates with grated cheese, the poor had to make do with toasted breadcrumbs.
It is certain, however, that the muddica atturrata is found in many traditional Sicilian recipes, and it is, therefore, essential for the preparation of some, such as pasta c’anciuova (Italian pasta with anchovies), pasta with broccoli, sarde a beccafico, and many other recipes that I am not here to list but that you can find here in my blog, or simply to season spaghetti with sauce by replacing it with grated cheese, and in many other dishes where it is necessary to season.
However, one aspect must be made clear: real muddica atturrata is not produced with dried breadcrumbs, as in store-bought breadcrumbs. Only stale Sicilian durum wheat bread crumbs with lievito madre should be used instead.
This gives the foods a distinct flavor and texture. Then, depending on its intended use as a condiment, anchovy fillets can be added. These are fried and dissolved in oil so that the crumb absorbs the oil entirely and takes on the anchovy flavor.
In reality, my mother taught me how to make this dish, which is likely to be found in many Sicilian homes. And believe me when my mother cooks muddica atturrata and all of her grandchildren are around, she has to hide it since it will not make it to the lunch table. It’s delicious!!!
Sicily is the food funfair, according to an Agrodolce article I recently read: “From street food to traditional recipes, the island’s gastronomic legacy is among the richest and most complicated in the Mediterranean, the consequence of cultures that have crossed and followed one another over millennia.”
Muddica Atturrata- Sicilian Condiment
- 7 oz durum wheat bread crumbs or panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- a handful of chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil, heated in a pan over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the garlic and Cook, turning often, until it is softened but not browned.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley in a mixing bowl.
- In the skillet with the garlic-flavored oil, toast the bread crumbs until golden.
- To avoid the muddica atturrata from burning, remove it from the heat and skillet.