Crunchy carb topping kicks spaghetti up a notch

Now that the tomato harvest has really hit its stride, it’s time to distill tomatoes into paste and pack freezer bags full of the sturdier varieties.

In lieu of sauce, those are the preferred methods of my family for preserving the bounty. I prefer paste on pizza or for making quick pasta sauces. And traditional sauce is easy enough to make throughout the winter from frozen tomatoes, which kept whole, are more versatile than a pantry full of spaghetti sauce.

As long as we have fresh tomatoes, I skip spaghetti sauce and simply toss cooked pasta in melted butter and olive oil infused with garlic and anchovy paste and either chopped beefsteak tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes. A chiffonade of basil and a bit of Parmesan or fresh mozzarella are my typical toppings.

This recipe from the Chicago Tribune takes summer’s simple spaghetti one step further with a garnish of anchovy- and garlic- flavored breadcrumbs. These are nearly identical to the topping I make for Tuscan-style massaged kale salad. But for those of us who love our carbs, buttery morsels of toasted bread are right at home on top of toothsome strands of spaghetti and meltingly soft tomatoes.

Tribune News Service photo

Summer Spaghetti

In a food processor, buzz 4 ounces country bread, 1 peeled garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon salt to fine crumbs. In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat and toast crumbs in butter, stirring, until crisp and brown, for about 8 minutes. Set aside crumbs. Wipe out skillet.

Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in skillet over medium-low. Add 5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved; 1 peeled and chopped garlic clove; chopped; and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until tomatoes soften, for 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in 3 anchovy fillets, chopped, and 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest. Toss with 1 pound cooked spaghetti. Top with breadcrumbs, chopped basil and grated Parmesan.

Makes 6 servings.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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