Being good at cooking is often the art of recycling leftovers and Carmela was keen to show us how to make good use of stale bread. The bread of Puglia is famous throughout Italy: it is made with the local hard wheat flour, is dense and chewy and lasts several days. It is far too good to throw away.
So the dish she showed us is ‘pane con piselli e cime di rapa’ – bread with peas and broccoli rabe. It’s one of those dishes that’s flexible: you could use chick peas rather than dried peas, purple sprouting broccoli instead of cime di rapa. The main thing is to use roughly equal quantities of the bread, pulses and vegetable of your choice. Once you’ve combined the three, serve immediately before the crunchiness of the fried bread softens