This Pasta with Breadcrumbs and cheese is a Sicilian recipe known as Pasta ca' Muddica. This dish is made in only 3 simple steps, first, blitz some stale bread in the food processor to make the breadcrumbs; second, toast them until golden, then sprinkle on top of your pasta, along with some parmesan cheese. So simple!
If you have stale bread in your kitchen, don't let that go to waste and try this Pasta with Breadcrumbs, it is such an easy and delicious dish.
This recipe brings a fresh and easy twist to your pasta, which is one you're bound to admire. You might be wondering what a bunch of breadcrumbs could do for your pasta?
Well, they soak up the olive oil and pepper and bring spice and crunch to the pasta creating a unique style of its own. Fan of pasta with veggies, meatballs, or baked bone-in chicken thighs? Wait till your try this Pasta ca' Muddica!
So, if you're looking to experiment a little with your pasta, bored of the usual Aglio e olio or Arabiatta, you've stumbled upon just the right recipe.
What is Pasta with Breadcrumbs?
It's a unique recipe where the breadcrumbs help bring out the spices of pasta, cooked with even the most basic of flavors, which are olive oil and black pepper in this particular recipe.
Nonetheless, don't be afraid to experiment with ingredients and make your own little recipe (scroll down to read our 'Recipe Variation' section for our top suggestions).
You'll be surprised how yummy adding toasted breadcrumbs to pasta can taste. It's one of the most straightforward recipes out there, yet the most underrated.
Why does this recipe work?
- A budget-friendly pasta dish made with simple ingredients.
- Super easy to make with only 5 pantry staples ingredients.
- This breadcrumb pasta recipe is good for lunch or dinner for the whole family.
- A good way to use up any leftover stale bread you have.
For this traditional Italian recipe, you'll need only 5 base ingredients. The best part is that you probably already have these in your kitchen:
- Spaghetti or Pasta: Whatever shape of pasta you like best
- Olive Oil: Extra Virgin, of course
- Bread crumbs: Grated only coarsely and fresh!
- Ground black pepper: Just what you have at home
- Parmesan cheese: For garnishing, before you serve
How to make the Pasta with Breadcrumbs?
The process of making this dish involves combing two different preparations. Firstly, we'll prepare the pasta, after which we will fry the homemade breadcrumbs. In the end, we put it all together.
One, (Make the bread crumbs): Put your stale bread in the food processor and blitz until breadcrumbs form.
Two, (Cook the pasta): Take a large pot of water and allow it to boil over high heat. Once you find it boiling, add in some salt. Then, proceed to add in your choice of pasta and cook it according to package instructions or until al dente.
Al dente literally translates to 'to the tooth' in Italian, but it just means cooking your pasta until it's got a nice bite to it. Drain it and set it aside for later.
Three: Heat the olive oil in this large skillet over medium heat, add the breadcrumbs, and fry (stirring often) until golden brown.
Four: Sprinkle some black pepper over the breadcrumbs.
Five: Now, add the cooked spaghetti (or whatever choice of pasta you had picked) that we had set aside earlier to this mixture of olive oil and breadcrumbs. Toss the pasta in the breadcrumbs for an even coating.
Six: Lastly, garnish this pasta with parmesan cheese and serve.
Voila! The easiest pasta recipe you have probably cooked is ready to be served.
- Add plenty of olive oil to the skillet before tossing in the breadcrumbs. If not absorbed by the breadcrumbs, it'll help coat the pasta you toss in afterwards.
- Some people prefer to make this pasta to use up some of their stale bread; they don't want it to go to waste. If you use stale bread, toss it in the food processor, and it will give you the perfect-sized coarse breadcrumbs.
- If you choose to utilize any of the recipe variations mentioned below, add them to the dish before or after the breadcrumbs, depending on what flavours you'd like your breadcrumbs to absorb.
- Garnish your dish with some fresh parsley.
We've kept this recipe pretty basic and minimal. Nonetheless, you can make this recipe as flavorsome as you'd like by adding the following ingredients:
- Garlic: Just plop some finely diced garlic along with the olive oil, and relish its goodness with no extra effort.
- Lemon Zest: allow it to sizzle in the olive oil before adding any other ingredients. You can also add the juice of half a lemon if you like the flavour it brings to the pasta.
- Artichokes: They don't just add extra oomph to the pasta, they're also healthy.
- Olives: When it comes to pasta, olives are always a good idea.
- Chopped Parsley: Enrich your pasta with the freshness of a herb.
- Coriander: You can also opt for coriander for garnishing.
- Chili flakes/ground red pepper: Fan of chilly food? Don't forget to add your favorite spice then.
When it comes to plating this dish, the sides you prefer depend totally upon you and the food your family relishes the most in your home.
The different things you can have as a side to this pasta are practically limitless.
This simple yet versatile recipe can be paired with some good-old garlic bread or a side of a Caesar salad. You can even add a baked side of your favourite protein such as Baked Honey Glazed Salmon. or some healthy veggies. It's also always great, devoured on its very own. Happy Munching!
Make ahead of time: You can make breadcrumbs ahead of time and store them in the freezer or in an air-tight container, depending on how long they need to be stored.
Store: You can store this Pasta ca' Muddica in an airtight container in the fridge for a good 3-5 days, where it'll still taste good.
Freeze: Wrap up the cooked pasta in an air-tight container, which can last in the freezer for 6 months. However, we suggest you only freeze the breadcrumbs and cook the pasta fresh whenever necessary.
To reheat: Take it out a couple of hours in advance, reheat it in a skillet and serve!
Yes, this pasta tastes relatively the same when it's out of the fridge. However, the texture of the breadcrumbs will change. The breadcrumbs won't remain as crisp when they're out of the refrigerator. Nonetheless, if the breadcrumbs are stored on their own in an air-tight bag in the freezer, they'll retain more of their crunch as compared to the fridge. You can always give them another shallow fry once they're out of the fridge/freezer as well.
Olives make all kinds of Italian food, just a little more Italian. If you love olives and decide to use them in this recipe. Make sure to chop the olives in the desired shape (preferable rings) and then toss them with the cooked pasta. If you're going to be using olives, however, you probably won't require any extra salt. This is because Kalamata and green olives already bring extra salty and tanginess to any recipe.
Always add salt according to your preference and taste. We have only mentioned salt in the recipe once, and that's when you're bringing the water to a boil and adding the pasta. If the salt that you add then is not enough for you, then you can add in some extra whilst you're combining the pasta and the breadcrumbs. You can quickly taste and figure out if you'll need some extra salt.
More Italian Pasta Recipes
More Easy Pasta Recipes
Pasta with Breadcrumbs
- Put the bread in the food processor and blitz until breadcrumbs form.4 slices stale bread
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain it and set it aside.400 g spaghetti, ½ teaspoon salt
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, add the breadcrumbs and fry (stirring often) until golden brown.¼ cup olive oil plus
- Sprinkle the black pepper over the breadcrumbs.½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Now, add spaghetti to the breadcrumbs and toss to coat.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese.2 tablespoon parmesan cheese