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Spaghetti with Parsley and Toasted Bread Crumbs

parsley pasta
  • 4 servings ServingsServings


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon peel
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • optional: mashed or chopped anchovies or 2 tablespoons capers


Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook briefly. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and toasty. Add the parsley and lemon peel, stir and cook for another minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta, but reserve about a 1/2 cup of cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan with the breadcrumb mixture and toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the remaining olive oil and enough cooking water to moisten the pasta. Add the cheese and some salt and pepper to taste. Add the optional ingredients, if used. Toss to distribute them evenly. Remove from the heat and serve.