Crunchy Breadcrumb Topped Pasta

One of my favorite parts of Mac & Cheese is that buttery crumb topping. I like the toasty crunch in contrast to the soft noodles. I was thinking I’d give that a go for a really different pasta dish.
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I grabbed some creamy tomato sauce at Trader Joe’s and it was great in this. I normally just use “kitchen ready” tomatoes but any tomato sauce would work. Pesto or alfredo would be delicious too. I used parsley but was wanting basil. Parsley is what I had though. This dish requires so few ingredients that I’d urge you not to cheap out on the fresh herb or fresh garlic. It is worth it this time!

Ingredients:

1/2 pound spaghetti/linguini/linguini fini
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
4 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 cup tomato sauce

Directions:

Boil water for the pasta
In a flat pan, over medium heat, heat olive oil, butter, panko, parsley, and garlic. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
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Add pasta to the water, and cook according to the package (just don’t overcook it).
Add salt, pepper, and parmesan to the breadcrumbs. Stir and remove from heat.
Drain pasta and toss with tomato sauce.
Top pasta with breadcrumb topping.
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I liked this. It had an easy and more interesting feel to it. It seems more than a thrown together bowl of spaghetti, whereas it really is just that. This breadcrumb topping takes just as much time as for the pasta to boil.

This is uber cheap, flavorful, and vegetarian. Pair it with a glass of wine and bam, that’s dinner.
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