I’ve seen quite a lot of pasta dishes with breadcrumbs in it, but the best that I had was a dish in Napoli with anchovies and breadcrumbs. Both anchovies and breadcrumbs were fried until they were really crunchy and added on top of the pasta, but not as a garnish – almost like a dry sauce instead. (I know, that was an oxymoron.). I took that idea of having ‘crunchy’ breadcrumbs and came up with this dish, ‘Roasted Breadcrumbs and Cherry Tomatoes Pasta’.
I tried frying the breadcrumbs initially, but since I am roasting the cherry tomatoes anyway, I decided to mix the breadcrumbs in it as well. Next, I wanted some saltiness, and I thought it would be even nicer if it’s already included in the roasting pan. Olives to the rescue (actually, people might say anchovies – not for me though 🙂 ). I tried both green and kalamata olives, and I prefer the taste of the kalamata with it. More intense. Feel free to use both if you want. 🙂
In case you’re wondering why the garlic is not roasted with the rest, I tried that too (of course!), but I thought it made the dish slightly sweet – I know, perhaps I was using waaayyy too many garlic (what else can I say? I love garlic 😉 ).
There is however one thing that I need to highlight when you’re preparing roasted breadcrumbs and cherry tomatoes pasta. Make sure you are using coarse breadcrumbs, not the fine ones that you normally use when you coat something before frying. The bigger chunks of breadcrumbs hold their shape even after roasting (i.e. it does not disappear in the roasted tomatoes) and they are the crunchiest part of this pasta dish. 🙂
Give this one a try! Just like me, it might end up as one of your regulars. 🙂
- 110 grams pasta
- 12 pieces cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced into small bits
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, coarse
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
- dash of chili flakes, (or more)
- salt and pepper, to season
- parsley to garnish, roughly chopped (optional)
In a bowl, combine tomatoes, kalamata, breadcrumbs, chili flakes, 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix and transfer in a baking pan.
Roast at 180 degree-C (350 degree-F) for 25 to 30 minutes.
Prepare the pasta as per package instructions.
Once pasta is almost ready, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium pan. Once oil is ready, add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add cooked pasta and roasted mix from the oven. Adjust seasoning. Mix and take off the heat.
Transfer on a serving plate and garnish with parsley (if desired). Serve.