- It’s QUICK
- It’s EASY
- It can be made with ingredients you probably already have on hand
- It’s CHEAP (super cheap!!!)
- Let’s not forget – It’s DELICIOUS!
I threw this dish together the night after making this yummy Jalapeno Popper Kale Salad. I had an obscene amount of yummy, buttery bread crumbs left over and it was a shame to
continue eating them by the handful let them go to waste. Being that it was a looong day and I was feeling a bit lazy, I could have been complacent in eating bread crumbs, a few slices of prosciutto, and a wedge of parmesan. In the past, as my single self, that may or may not have happened many of a night. However, being the good girlfriend that I am, I decided not to subject the BF to my old eating habits and throw this together instead.
Pasta is normally my go to dish when I’m looking for something quick and easy. I’ll either pull some of my Sunday Gravy out of the freezer or throw together a quick puttanesca sauce. So, browsing through the cupboard on this particular night, I fould a half box of spaghetti, those aforementioned delicious bread crumbs, and garlic (which is ALWAYS on hand). Throw that all together with some fennel and a dash of red pepper flakes, top it off with grated cheese, and WOW – Really?! Yummm….
If you don’t have any bread crumbs on hand (and you don’t feel like making them as shown below) feel free to use panko or pre-packaged bread crumbs. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, serve this alongside this Fennel & Celery Salad or this Roasted Lemon & Tomato Salad – Both would be delicious options!
- 3 slices French bread
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon coarsely crushed fennel seeds
- Generous pinch red pepper flakes
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- Romano or Parmesan cheese, for grating
- Lemon zest, for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Toast your bread slices for 15-20 minutes, flipping once during the cooking. Let cool slightly and tear the bread slices into small pieces and pulse in food processor or blender to create a crumb like texture. Toss the crumbs with the melted butter, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on your baking sheet and toast for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until just al dente (usually a little less time than the package instructions indicate).
- Brown the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed fennel seeds and red pepper flakes along with the bread crumbs and let heat together until the flavors meld.
- Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water. Toss the pasta in the skillet with the bread crumb mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and add additional pasta water if moisture is needed. Sprinkle with grated cheese, to taste, and lemon zest, if desired.
- White: Chardonnay goes excellently with this dish – The buttery bread crumbs are enhanced by the creaminess of this wine. I LOVED this delicious Pacific Grove Chardonnay from Trader Joe’s but unfortunately, like with many Trader Joe’s wines, when I went back a few days later – I could not find it any longer 🙁 If you see it, stock up! And send me some 😉
- Red: A classic Italian wine – Chianti – Is a true match for this one. It’s a lighter bodied red that won’t compete with the delicate flavors of this dish.