This is one of those Italian classic recipes that you grew up eating and is so perfect in its simplicity, that it needs no updating.
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You’ll want to keep this pasta recipe in the front of your recipe box or binder. Using ingredients you probably already have on hand and ready in a little over 30 minutes, this flavor-packed pasta dish is a great weeknight dinner, especially on Lenten Fridays.
TIPS FOR MAKING THIS ITALIAN CLASSIC
Because this recipe utilizes very simple ingredients, it is crucial to take the time to develop each flavor.
- For this dish, olive oil and cheese provide a lot of flavors. You’ll want to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil and a quality Parmesan cheese. Do yourself a favor and grate your own. The flavor and texture of the dish will be far better.
- Take the extra time to slowly brown the garlic in the olive oil. Then build upon the flavor by adding the red pepper flakes and allowing them to infuse the oil with their flavor as well.
- Toss the cooked pasta in the flavored oil and keep tossing over low heat to help the flavor penetrate into the pasta.
- If your pasta feels dry, slowly add some of the pasta water and toss the pasta again to get a creamy coating.
- When you zest the lemon, finely mince it and sprinkle it on at the end. It adds a burst of fresh flavor and color, but you don’t want to bite into a larger piece.
EQUIPMENT USED IN THIS RECIPE
- Pyrex 4 Measuring Cup, Clear with Red Graphics – This is a kitchen staple.
- Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons-6 Piece – I love the long, rectangle design. They even fit into small spice jars.
- Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Food Processor – this inexpensive tool makes food prep so much easier!
- Cuisinart French Classic Tri-Ply Stainless 12-Inch French Skillet with Helper Handle – You’ll feel like a real 5-star chef with this skillet.
- Cuisinart 44-22 Contour Stainless 6-Quart, 3-Piece Pasta Pot with Cover
- OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Tongs With Nylon Heads
- Sweese Porcelain Salad Pasta Bowls – 30 Ounce – Set of 6, White
Looking for a few more ideas to get you through the six weeks of Lent? This recipe for Crunchy Batter Fried Cod is an easy and delicious alternative to meat.
An elegant way to get more seafood into your diet, for Lent or any time, is Stir Fry Noodles And Scallops.
Spicy Shrimp Tacos With Sweet And Spicy Slaw is a fun way to observe Lent and still have an easy and delicious meal in no time.Print
This is one of those Italian classic recipes that you grew up eating and is so perfect in its simplicity, that it needs no updating. Simple ingredients that provide big flavor.
For the breadcrumbs:
- 6 slices crusty Italian bread
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
For the pasta:
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Kosher salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 12 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make the bread crumbs.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. On a baking sheet, lay the bread slices and toast for 10 minutes or very golden brown, flip and brown the other side – another 5 – 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool until you are able to handle the slices.
Crumble the toast into a food processor and process until you have very rough bread crumbs.
Pour in the melted butter and parsley.
Process until well combined and set aside.
Start the pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil. Once boiling add a handful of salt. The water should taste like the ocean. Its a lot of salt, but this will flavor the pasta.
Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente – about 6-7 minutes. Taste a strand, if it is still crunchy, cook an additional minute or two.
While the pasta is cooking, Place a large skillet over medium heat.
Drizzle in 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the garlic. Cook the garlic over medium-low heat, stirring until it becomes very fragrant and just starts to brown. Add the red pepper flakes and bread crumbs.
Toss together to mix completely.
Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta cooking water.
Toss the pasta in the skillet with the bread crumb mixture.
Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest and a handful of the shredded parmesan cheese.
If the pasta is dry, add the reserved pasta cooking water, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a ‘sauce’ to coat the pasta.
Garnish with additional cheese, and parsley.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: classic Italian recipes, pasta recipes, comfort food, Italian recipes, weeknight meals