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Tuscan panzanella recipe


Panzanella is a recipe from the humble Tuscan tradition, easy to make and perfect to serve as a tasty main dish.

Tuscan panzanella is the demonstration of how a few simple ingredients can give life to a fantastic and incredibly inviting and delicious dish. This recipe is also called pansanella or panmollo , and consists of a preparation based on stale bread and other ingredients, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and onion. If you want, you can also enrich it with other ingredients such as tuna and pitted black olives, but the recipe for panzanella is already tasty in its traditional preparation.

It is notoriously known as a Tuscan recipe, but panzanella is disputed by several regions of central Italy, such as Umbria and the Marches .

Panzanella can be an idea for an appetizer but also for a single dish: it is a dish that is eaten in all seasons but especially in summer, considering the freshness of all its ingredients.


How to make panzanella: the procedure

  1. Start with the bread. First cut it into slices, then into cubes about 2-3 centimeters in size. Leave the crust on: in a good panzanella it is important that you feel the different textures of the crumb and crust under your teeth.
  2. Put the bread cubes in a bowl, then gradually add the water and vinegar , mix and let the bread soften while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Peel the red onion and cut it into thin slices, then go on to the tomatoes, washing them and cutting them into pieces, not too small . Pour them into a bowl where you will add the previously chopped onion.
  4. Peel the cucumber and cut into not too thin slices, add to the rest of the ingredients.
  5. At this point , squeeze the bread well and arrange it on a serving plate.
  6. Then pour in the rest of the ingredients, mix, season with the oil, pepper and salt and a few chopped basil leaves.
  7. Leave to flavor for a few minutes. You can serve immediately or leave to cool in the refrigerator before serving.

If you liked this traditional Tuscan dish, then you absolutely must try the delicious sweet panzanella !


– If you want to make the panzanella recipe but you don't intend to consume it immediately, it is advisable to add the tomatoes only before serving, so that they do not turn sour.

– It is not essential to have Tuscan bread at home, however it is good to prepare your panzanelle with stale bread. Unlike that of other regions, the "fool bread" crumbles almost resembles couscous.

Don't be fussy with water to soften the bread, in fact depending on how hard the bread is you may need more or less liquid to soften it.

– Finally we want to give you some advice on the onion : if the flavor is too strong for you and you find it hard to digest it, try soaking it in water for 20-30 minutes after cutting it. It will be lighter and less indigestible.


Keep the Tuscan panzanella in the refrigerator, closed in an airtight container, for a maximum of two days.

Panzanella: why is it called that?

There are two different hypotheses on the origin of the name panzanella. According to some, the derivation is that of bread and zanella . Zanella is a Tuscan dialect term that refers to a container, such as the one in which the recipe is prepared. According to others, however, the word panzana derives from pappa , exactly like pappa al pomodoro .

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Pancotto: when bread and water create a delicious dish!

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