Spaghetti with arugula and garlic bread crumbs. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)
A touch of fresh-toasted bread crumbs can literally transform a dish, whether you're sprinkling them over vegetables or gratins, and they even work magic drizzled over desserts. They can elevate a simple pasta dish, too, as Food editor Russ Parsons shows in this amazing (and simple) recipe for spaghetti with arugula and garlic bread crumbs.
For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery. Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.
Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen
134 recipes for your favorite restaurant dishes
Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen
Spaghetti with arugula and garlic bread crumbs
Total time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, split in half lengthwise
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup finely chopped arugula
1. Combine the bread crumbs in a small saucepan with the garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to coat well; there should be only a light trace of oil in the bottom of the pan. Season with a pinch of salt and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs have darkened and toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a small bowl and set them aside to cool slightly. When cool, discard garlic.
2. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of liberally salted, rapidly boiling water. When it is tender but still slightly chewy, drain it and combine it in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the chopped arugula. Add 5 tablespoons toasted bread crumbs and toss to coat well.
3. Divide among 4 to 6 shallow pasta bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste. Serve immediately.
Each of 6 servings: 370 calories; 10 grams protein; 58 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 48 mg sodium.