July 24, 2018

Asparagus and Linguine with Breadcrumbs

In Sicily there is a tradition of using fried seasoned breadcrumbs on pasta for reasons of economy. Adding a crunchy savoury topping to pasta is a great idea, thanks Sicily. Making your own seasoned breadcrumbs is easy and a great way of using up crusts. Add in some cooked greens like broccoli, spinach, green beans or courgettes and you’ve got a quick satisfying meal.

You’ll probably have noticed that a lot of the dishes on this blog feature a crunchy top layer. This addition should not be seen as optional. It’s important to have textural contrast. It’s this contrast that makes a meal that little bit more interesting and ‘finished’.

I’ve heard that it’s also traditional to have ice cream and brioche for breakfast in Sicily, another outrageously good idea.


  • Pasta cooked according to the packet instructions.
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Seasonal green veg such as asparagus, broccoli or green beans, frozen peas also work


  1. Cook the pasta according to instructions.
  2. Cut the garlic into thin slices and saute in a frying pan in olive oil taking care not to burn the garlic. If you take your eye off it for a second it will burn. If you do burn the garlic start again. Once cooked remove the garlic from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add a few more glugs of oil to the pan and heat.
  4. Cut the crusts of of two slices of bread into 1cm chunks and saute in the pan until browned and crispy. You want the texture to be more like well done toast rather than shop bought hard crunchy croutons.
  5. Chop a good hand-full of parsley.
  6. Steam your greens drain and season.
  7. Combine the cooked pasta and greens and sprinkle over your seasoned breadcrumbs and parsley.

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