Peasant Pasta – Cucina Povera
Since I am on cucina povera and street foods “kick” at the moment here is another simple recipe, this one for pasta without a sauce, made more hearty with crispy bread crumbs and enriched with pine nuts (not so povera after all).
I love what you’d call “dry” pasta simply tossed with olive oil, perhaps infused with garlic and hot pepper and served without a sauce.
This is similar to spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino (spaghetti with garlic, oil and pepper) but I sprinkle it before serving with bread crumbs that I crisp in a little olive oil in a skillet. Pine nuts are also nice with this pasta as they add another layer of flavour and a buttery texture.
12 oz pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
A pinch or two dried hot pepper
1 cup bread crumbs, preferably made fresh from day old bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until just al dente.
Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water.
While the pasta is cooking warm up the olive oil, hot pepper flakes and garlic in a skillet large enough to hold the pasta. You don’t want to sauté the garlic, only to warm it up in the oil gently. Do not let the garlic brown.
In a separate skillet heat the olive oil, add the bread crumbs and cook until crisp and golden. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper and set aside.
In the same skillet cook the pine nuts until they begin to turn golden, being careful not to burn them.
When the pasta is ready drain (reserving 1 cup of the cooking water) and add to the skillet with the oil and garlic.
Toss the pasta with the oil, then add the parsley.
Pile into serving plates and add the crisp bread crumbs and pine nuts.
Serve with shredded parmesan.