In southern Italy, toasted breadcrumbs, instead of grated cheese, are often sprinkled over pasta. You don’t even need a sauce for this authentic recipe—just toss the pasta in extra virgin olive oil.
The custom survives in the U.S. largely as macaroni and cheese topped with toasted breadcrumbs.
Yesterday, we lunched on a delicious lobster mac & cheese, topped with breadcrumbs, from Hancock Gourmet Lobster Company. But you don’t have to go so upscale to enjoy your mac & cheese with a crunchy top.
Whether for mac & cheese or another pasta dish, simply buy gourmet seasoned breadcrumbs or make your own. If you make them, experiment with favorite seasonings. Garlic, parsley, lemon zest and Parmesan are classic; but you can try cayenne, chili or other flavors you especially enjoy.
We prefer to use seasoned panko, the wonderful Japanese breadcrumbs. You can get a set of five different flavors of panko breadcrumbs—Garlic, Mustard, Southwest and Teriyaki, plus Unseasoned, from Iron Chef. They’re certified kosher.
Why not offer guests both breadcrumbs and grated cheese with their pasta: Who says you can’t have both?
Find more pasta recipes using the pull-down menu at the right.
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