While away on vacation last week, I remained committed to eating well, despite staying in a cottage that had no whisk and no measuring cups. “Well” is a very subjective word, because in this budget-conscious world, who’s really eating totally fancy meals? Sure, we were staying in a little Maine, ocean-front cottage but lobsters were not on the daily menu. Yet, good, solid, hearty food always is!
On our first night in Maine, after what seemed to be a 6-hour drive from hell, we didn’t want to go out, we just wanted to fill our bellies. I had brought some basic ingredients – pasta, bread, garlic – and a couple items from my garden (zucchini, fresh herbs). Whole wheat pasta tossed with sauteed zucchini is delicious but we wanted more heft. Heft came in the form of olive oil-sauteed bread crumbs (ground from fresh bread, because who goes on vacation without their food processor?!)
My Pasta with Breadcrumbs recipe is a simple assembly job that takes no more than 20 minutes. Traditionally known as Pasta con il Pangrattato, regular folk all over Italy made this centuries ago to add depth and satisfaction to their plates when they couldn’t afford pricier ingredients (like beef for meatballs or ragu). Folks all over Italy (and beyond!) still make this dish because, well, it tastes scrumptious.
I know you want a recipe, but to be quite honest, I make all this a la minute and do what feels good at the moment. We boiled a half pound of pasta until al dente and tossed it with sauteed zucchini and garlic. I topped the dish with olive oil-soaked, err, SAUTEED breadcrumbs and fresh herbs. Serve with a glass of red wine, and you will feel like all is well with the world after one bite and one sip! (I may have drizzled a little truffle oil over the bowl to, just a teaspoon for added luxury.)
You’ll have to forgive the blurry nature of this photo. A few glasses of wine had already set me in vacation mode and well, you food bloggers know what that means. Excess wine makes for far from crisp/perfect photos. I think it was the worth the compromise, don’t you?