Panzanella Or Pan Molle – Panzanella or soft bread

Panzanella Or Pan Molle – Panzanella or soft bread

Panzanella, also called pansanella or panmolle or panmòllo or bread ‘nzuppo, is a typical dish of all central Italy, from Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Abruzzo.

Recipe Panzanella

The original recipe calls for stale bread, red onion, basil, all seasoned with olive oil, vinegar, and salt. In Tuscany and Umbria, the bread is left to soak in water and then squeezed until it is crumbled and broken to mix with the other ingredients. In the Marches region, slices of stale bread are saturated but not crushed, and the other components are placed on top as if they were bruschetta.
Many additions have been introduced over time. Some are now recognized as canonical, such as raw chopped tomatoes and cucumber. Others are more linked to the cook’s creativity, such as spicy olives, hard-boiled eggs in wheels (used as a garnish), and sometimes tuna.
It would be best if you said that the recipe has many variations with additions and substitutions of many types: carrots, fennel, corn, celery, raw peppers, sausage, mozzarella, various types of cheese, pickles, pickled vegetables, borlotti beans, as well as spices of choice to give flavor, such as oregano, basil, chives, etc.
In Tuscany, this dish is widespread up to Lucca, Viareggio, and Bagni di Lucca. In Lunigiana, Versilia, and Garfagnana, as discovered by the scholars at the University of Florence who wrote the Atlante Lessicale Toscano, it is a non-traditional dish. Camaiore and Pescaglia, “Panzanella” means bread dough fried in hot oil, equivalent to sgabeo.
According to some, the dish is very fresh; it is advisable to put it in the fridge for a few minutes before serving it, at the same level and temperature as the fresh vegetables.
Preferably consumed in the summertime, because it is the period in which vegetables are easily found, it represents an excellent single course.


Eight slices of 1-2 day-old Italian bread
l 1/3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, diced
One large white onion, thinly sliced
extra-virgin olive oil
white vinegar
a handful of basil cut into strips
One bell pepper

How to make Panzanella – the Bread and Vegetable Salad:

How to make the panzanella (pan molle):

Soak the slices of bread in water, making sure they are not soggy and keep their shape. Squeeze out excess water and place in a large serving dish. Next, make a salad with tomatoes, onion, oil, pepper, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss and spread over the bread, drizzle with more olive oil, add a few basil leaves and keep cool until ready to serve.

There are several variations to the Panzanella (pan molle), and each one is claimed to be the original by its author. Whatever the case, they all contain the same essential ingredients: bread, tomatoes, other vegetables, and olive oil.

Serves 4

Panzanella Or Pan Molle – Panzanella or soft bread is a Regional recipe from Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Latium, Abruzzo

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

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