Spaghetti with arugula and bread crumbs. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)
A touch of fresh-toasted bread crumbs can literally transform a dish, whether sprinkling them over vegetables or gratins, they even work magic drizzled over desserts. And 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.
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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.