Pasta with Breadcrumbs

If you’re ever at a loss for what to make for dinner, just open your pantry and pull down that blue box of breadcrumbs. Most of the time I’m a bit more creative—goat cheese, short ribs, butternut squash—you get the idea, but lately things have been less exciting around here. The boss where A. works has decided that overtime on his current project is a great idea, so that leaves me cooking for one, and a little uninspired these days.

I first came across this recipe years ago on Everyday Italian. The original dish was sprinkled with thin slices of prosciutto for a salty bite (tasty if you have it, yes—required, absolutely not) and chopped, fresh parsley (if you have some, use it, but the Italian-style breadcrumbs already have parsley). I’ve made it with all the bells and whistles, and far more frequently as this paired-down, four ingredient version. Either way, it’s always satisfying.

Pasta with Breadcrumbs

I never measure anything for this dish. The main idea is to heat the breadcrumbs with olive oil over medium-low until they turn toasty brown. Add the breadcrumbs first, drizzle in the oil, and stir together until the oil is absorbed. Start with less oil than you think you’ll need and add it gradually to avoid having soaking wet breadcrumbs.

This recipe (if you can even call it that) is for one serving. To feed a few more people, use a pound of pasta and toss in more breadcrumbs and olive oil.

1 cup pasta, if cooking for one
Italian-style breadcrumbs
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, then toss into pan with the breadcrumbs. Stir to combine. Serve drizzled with Parmesan cheese, and prosciutto and parsley, if using.