I totally owe the fact that this post is up right now to Shanti from Riot of Flavours and my friend from NID, Meera Naidu. Honestly, I am notorious about procrastinating posts. Mainly because I want to tell you everything behind the recipe I am sharing – the story, the day, the mood, the flavour, the way the sun was shining, who said what…. crispness is not my best suite. But then you probably already know that. In the zeal to tell you everything I can, I end up taking far too much time to put up a post. Not this time though. Today, these two ladies kept me straight on facebook and even as I type, I am racing to ensure they have the recipe by dinner. Shanti, Meera, I hope you guys eat well tonight
More often than not, that’s how I cook too. I plan, research, open around 35 tabs and 5 cook books, seek inspiration and after much mulling, tearing apart recipes and putting them together again, I eventually get down to how I will go about the dish. Some may say this is a great thing.. research is the foundation of all great design, right? But tell that to someone who is hungry and waiting at the table. Or the guest who arrived expecting a fabulous dinner from the food blogger in the house. When Atul is around (and hungry), he keeps me straight. He even times me just to get the pressure on. But today, was a different day. I just needed a superquick spaghetti fix. Instantly. It was now or never. No time, no meandering… just a mood of ‘I wish I was eating this already ok?’
And so I got around to making this Breadcrumbs, Herbs & Shallots Spaghetti pasta that I have been eyeing forever. The idea of crisp, crunchy golden bread crumbs with herbs just seemed interesting and unusual enough to intrigue. I admit I was a bit skeptical.. how much could breadcrumbs and herbs do to pasta. And yet, as is often the case of quick pasta sauces, the simplicity proved to be the beauty of this dish. Followed closely behind by the fact that it uses up on-the-verge-of-going-off-bread that I always have at hand and herbs that I always hoard. Need to know more? Go make it already!
- Sphagetti - 250 gms or half a packet
- Chopped fresh parsley and oregano - a big handful. (I used a small bunch of parsley and about 2 tablespoons or so of oregano. Could probably also replace the oregano with or add as much of basil. With stronger herbs like sage or rosemary, I maybe more conservative)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 5 tablespoons
- Old Bread - 80 grams (about 3 slices or so)
- Garlic Cloves - 5
- Shallots, finely chopped - 10 (You could probably use 3 or 4 spring onions instead)
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Pulse the bread and garlic together in a food processer till you have bread crumbs.
- Meanwhile, boil plenty of water along with a generous teaspoonful of salt in a large pot and drop in the sphagetti. Cook, uncovered till al dente and drain.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan and add in the breadcrumbs. Saute, stirring till the bread crumbs are golden and crunchy (about 5-8 minutes).
- Add the herbs and shallots to the pan and cook till fragrant. Add in the sphagetti and remaining olive oil and toss till mixed well. Serve immediately.