Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Orecchiette with Toasted Breadcrumbs

Here's a simple, quick dish for a work night.  It's certainly not the healthiest thing out there, but it's fast and it tastes good!

When I made this, I used less olive oil and so it was probably a bit drier than the recipe intended.  Actually, I preferred it that way because the breadcrumbs retained a bit of their crunch.  I didn't want to waste my package of nitrite-free prosciutto (yes, I'm paranoid) so I added a bit extra.  It was supposed to have a sprinkling of fresh parsley but I forgot to buy some.  Regardless, it was still good.  The main flavor of this dish comes from the toasted breadcrumbs.  The one piece of advice I would offer for this recipe is to not let the breadcrumbs burn.  They can go from nicely toasted to inedible in a short period of time.

Orecchiette with Toasted Breadcrumbs
Slightly adapted from the Food Network
Serves 2 hungry people

1/2 lb dried orecchiette
~ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Italian seasoned dried breadcrumbs
1/8 grated Parmesan (and a little extra if you want, you can never go wrong with more cheese)
1/2 cup finely chopped prosciutto
Salt and pepper to taste


1) Boil the pasta according to the package.

2) Meanwhile, heat the oil until warm (not hot, or the breadcrumbs will be ruined).  Add breadcrumbs and stir constantly until they are toasted. Season with salt and pepper.  This will take approximately 2 minutes, but if they start to smell burned before then, remove from the heat immediately.  When they're properly toasted, set them aside.  I placed mine in a bowl to keep them from the hot pan after they were toasted.

3) Drain the pasta.  Add the pasta and the breadcrumbs to the pasta pot.  Then stir in the chopped prosciutto and cheese.  Mix well and serve.

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