How do you make carbs even more delicious? By adding MORE carbs! Let's take one of my favorite meals, pasta, for example. Amazingly delicious on its own, but when tossed and coated with toasted, buttery, and garlicky breadcrumbs, it's too good to be true! To top it all off this dish is super easy to make and a definite crowd pleaser for any fellow pasta lovers!
1 lb. thin spaghettini or linguine (I used lemon pepper linguine from Lexington Pasta Company)
1 tsp. salt for the pasta
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
a small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried red chili pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups Panko or Italian breadcrumbs
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
8 ounces chicken breast (optional)
Begin by cooking your pasta: just add your pasta to a large pot of salted, boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain your pasta and set aside.
Heat 3/4 cup of olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. When the oil gets hot, add your chopped onion and garlic. Cook a few minutes until fragrant, stirring constantly. Mix in your salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
Add your butter and continue stirring until melted. Now you can add the breadcrumbs and continue cooking until they are lightly toasted. Be careful not to burn them (you may need to turn down the heat) and continually stir them. I added a few more tablespoons of olive oil as well while I was toasting the breadcrumbs because they got a bit dry.
Combine your breadcrumb mixture with your cooked pasta in your pot or a bowl. Toss thoroughly until your pasta is completely coated throughout. Add your Parmesan cheese and continue tossing into your pasta mixture.
Scoop a generous helping of pasta onto a plate and top with a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and grilled chicken (or any other seafood/meat you might like!). I blistered my cherry tomatoes for extra flavor but that is completely optional.
Every piece of pasta is perfectly coated with the buttery and garlicky breadcrumbs. The cherry tomatoes add just the right amount of brightness to this dish that is overflowing with rich flavor.
I especially love the contrast of textures between the warm, chewy pasta and crunchy breadcrumbs. This breadcrumb coated pasta would be delicious even with other sauces on top like pesto or marinara and the light garlic butter flavor would perfectly compliment other sauces as well. I can't imagine eating my linguine any other way now!