Italian bread, aubergine parmigiana

The Italians know a thing or two when it comes to bread-based recipes! Not just for buttering (or dipping into olive oil), bread is a vital ingredient in all sorts of Italian soups, salads and even pasta dishes.

Italian bread is a versatile ingredient, particularly if it’s a day or two old and has a nice crunchy texture to it. Here’s a rundown of our favourite recipes that make the most of the humble loaf.

CHICKEN PANZANELLA

Chicken panzanella

This recipe is all about sharing flavours. The bread soaks up the herby roasting juices of the chicken to give you the crunchiest, most delicious croutons ever.

OOZY CHEESY PASTA WITH CRISPY PANGRITATA

Cheesy pasta, perfect with Italian bread

To make this Italian bread classic, pangritata, lightly toast the sourdough. Peel the garlic, then blitz in a food processor with the toasted bread, herbs and walnuts until fine. Scatter joyfully over your pasta

WATCH: How to make tomato & ricotta bruschetta

PAPPA AL POMODORO

Italian bread and tomato soup

This delicious, family-friendly Tuscan soup is a simple mix of bread and tomato. Jamie’s added roasted cherry tomatoes to his recipe, but it also works really well with good-quality tinned.

BAKED ARTICHOKES WITH BREADCRUMBS

Tray baked artichokes

This brilliant stuffed artichoke recipe is a lovely antipasti or the perfect side dish for meat and fish. To make this gorgeous Italian bread stuffing, toss the garlic, almonds, breadcrumbs and herbs into a bowl, season, and loosen with a little olive oil.

AUBERGINE PARMIGIANA WITH CRISPY BREADCRUMBS

Aubergine parmigiana

Parmigiana is beautiful Italian soul food. Normally, it’s a labour of love that would take a whole afternoon to make, but Jamie’s cut a few corners here to make this this a totally achievable after-work winner. The crispy breadcrumbs make it!

For more Italian recipes and inspo, check out the Italian collection here.