I think I have well and truly settled into married life. How can I tell? Well, I now possess that mysterious power that comes with being a married woman...I know exactly what my husband is going to say the moment I ask him a question. Case in point; each and every morning I ask my husband the proverbial question ‘So honey, what do you feel like for dinner tonight?’ And with my new found power I know his answer before he’s even had the chance to say it, ‘Just a plate of pasta darling’. I know, I know, this doesn’t exactly make me a psychic; it simply means I married an Italian man...to whom pasta is king! And this makes me a very happy cook. Why? Because pasta has to be the most simple yet versatile dish to cook, ever! Just when I think I have run out of new pasta dishes to try, I discover a fresh cookbook filled with yet another set of classic dinners to test out. I am also blessed with the changing of seasons, which bring along even more ingredients and inspiration to update my pasta repertoire with.
This month has definitely brought along longer days and warmer evenings forcing me to say good bye to my winter classics like slow cooked tomato and pork sauce or my famed mushroom ragout and say hello to vibrant punchy pestos, simple olive oil based sauces and my new favourite...crumb pastas!
Crumb pastas are packed with so much flavour but are oh so simple to prepare. They are also a very economical way to feed your family, using up left over bread and mostly pantry and fridge staples. This recipe combines stale ciabatta, sundried tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and anchovy fillets that are whizzed up in the food processor and fried until golden to create a vibrant, crispy, flavour packed accompaniment to your favourite long pasta, I used spaghetti! I top this dish with extra basil leaves for freshness, grate over parmesan cheese (because no pasta is complete without it) and top with a creamy torn mozzarella ball. A final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil takes this dish to pasta perfection!!
Enjoy, I know you will love this one! K x
Summer Crumb Spaghetti
Adapted from Donna Hay ‘Fast, Fresh, Simple’
100g sourdough or crusty bread
8 sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup basil leaves
3 anchovy fillets
6 slices prosciutto
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 small mozzarella balls, halved
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil and torn basil leaves to serve
Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and return to the pan to keep warm. While the spaghetti is cooking, place the bread, sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil leaves, anchovy fillets and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and process in short bursts until the mixture resembles small crumbs (don’t worry if you have a couple of more rustic chunky pieces, they fry beautifully). Heat a frying pan over medium/high heat and cook prosciutto until golden and crispy, set aside. In the same frying pan add the crumb mixture and cook until the crumbs are golden. Add the spaghetti to the fry pan and toss to combine. Remove the pan from heat, add extra basil leaves, cooked prosciutto,parmesan, divide between serving bowls and top with mozzarella.