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Spaghetti with Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

  • Author: Roz Corieri Paige | La Bella Vita Cucina

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. thin spaghettini
  • 1 tsp. salt for the pasta
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • a small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups seasoned and dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. dried red chili pepper flakes (pepperoncini)
  • small fresh basil leaves and shaved parmesan to garnish
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (homemade or store-bought) to pass around and offer to guests to mix into their pasta if desired.

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water (1-1/2 tsp), until AL DENTE.
  2. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Gently heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium (do not burn).
  4. Add the onion and garlic. cooking until fragrant, about a minute or two (do not burn).
  5. Mix in another 1/2 tsp. salt and the oregano, black pepper, and red chili pepper flakes.
  6. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  7. In the same frying pan, add the remaining olive oil and butter and gently heat on medium.
  8. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until toasted golden brown and fragrant, stirring frequently so they do not burn, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  9. Turn off the stove burner.
  10. Mix into the toasted breadcrumbs: the sauteed garlic, onion, oregano, chili pepper, salt and pepper mixture.
  11. Mix in the parmesan cheese.
  12. When the pasta is finished cooking, toss the pasta into the frying pan with the breadcrumb mixture gently tossing to coat the pasta evenly.
  13. Add some reserved pasta water OR olive oil if needed to loosen the pasta, adding about 1/4 cup at a time until your preferred consistency is achieved (I used a whole cup of the reserved pasta water and another 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  14. Transfer to a large pasta platter and garnish with basil leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese.
  15. Offer basil pesto to guests to add to their pasta if desired.