Friday, February 3, 2012

Pasta with Toasted Bread Crumbs

Last week I attended my first Minnesota Food Bloggers event at Heidi's restaurant in Minneapolis.  I was so excited to meet some of the people who write blogs that I draw inspiration and recipes from.  The Twin Cities has a lovely community of food eaters and writers, which makes absolute sense considering our extraordinary restaurant and food scene.  Heidi's graciously hosted this event and it was a treat to wander around the restaurant, see the behind-the-scenes work in the kitchen, and taste some of the delightful Heidi's fare.  I also tried some ginseng-infused whiskey.  Refreshing!  I met some wonderful people and I cannot wait for the next food blogger event.

tasty bites from heidi's
So finally this Friday I returned to my kitchen to prepare a lovely diner of .....wait for run pasta!  That's right internet friends.  I have started training for my fifth marathon.  I never thought I would see the day.  So much like this summer, I will be using the next four months of training to search out and cook new varieties of pasta dishes.  I get to expand my culinary horizons and carb load at the same time.  Loves it!  Tonight I made an insanely easy pasta dish of pasta with toasted bread crumbs.  The bread crumbs toast up and stick to the pasta spirals, making them crunchy and flavorful.  It's almost like a tasty sauce, but in bread-crumb form.  Carbs on carbs?  I'll take that for a training run pasta!

Pasta with Toasted Bread Crumbs
serves 2

1/2 pound of short pasta, like fusilli or bow tie
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in a handful of salt.  Cook the pasta in the salted water according to the package directions.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet (large enough to fit the pasta).  Keep the heat to medium, and add the bread crumbs, tossing to incorporate.  Once the bread crumbs have soaked up the oil, add the spices and continue to toss the bread crumb mixture so it does not burn.  If it starts to get dark, turn the heat off.  Taste the bread crumbs and add salt & pepper as needed.

When the pasta has cooked, use a slotted spoon and add the pasta to the bread crumb mixture.  Toss the pasta in the mixture until the pasta is coated.  Add a tablespoon of the pasta water if needed in order to make the bread crumbs stick to the pasta.  Top with the grated cheese and readjust seasonings. 

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