This recipe comes straight out of Lidia’s Italy–I have what seems like and endless stream of recorded programs, which I generally don’t get around to watching. But this weekend I did and on Sunday I made this simple, comforting pasta. It has 5 ingredients and comes together in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta–which means it’s also perfect for a busy weeknight. It’s also made from ingredients: pasta, garlic, day old bread, olive oil, oregano–that you will very often have on hand. You can watch Lidia cook it for Al Roker here (and add spinach to the basic recipe). My adaptation is below. It’s faithful to the spirit and the technique of the basic recipe, but it was a rainy Sunday, so I wasn’t about to go out for bucatini, though I would have liked to, and I didn’t have any oregano dried, so I substituted parsley and sage, which may be nontraditional, but was very good. I added a side dish of cauliflower roasted with olive oil, whole garlic cloves, and seasoned bread crumbs, which would have been just as good tossed in the pasta.
Spaghetti with garlic and bread crumbs
adapted from Lidia Bastianich
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 3/4 loaf day old bread, shredded into coarse crumbs (use a box grater or your food processor; you might have to cut off some of the hard crust)
- lots of thinly sliced garlic (about 6 large cloves, but to your taste)
- olive oil
- 4-5 sage leaves, chopped finely
- 1 T parsely, chopped finely
- Bring water to a boil. Salt and cook pasta.
- While pasta is cooking, pour about 1/4 cup of oil in heavy pan. The oil should coat the bottom of the pan
- Cook garlic for a minute or two, until it begins to soften.
- Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread crumbs are nicely toasted. You want them nicely browned, so they have some crunch.
- Add sage & parsley (or dried oregano), stir.
- Turn off heat.
- When pasta is finished, drain and add to the pan, tossing to coat.
- Serve on a large platter, with grated cheese.
We make this *all* the time, always with parsley rather than rosemary, and sometimes with a bit of lemon zest, too. Yum.