Spaghetti with rucola and garlic-chilli breadcrumbs

It has been super hot here the last few days and I couldn’t face the thought of having the oven on again. Something quick and light was needed and the word “rucola” popped into the discussion. But what to do with it? I had a box of spaghetti in the pantry, so a google search for “spaghetti arugula” (I usually search American terms because the hit count is invariably higher) came up with this recipe from the L.A. Times. But they discarded the garlic after cooking it and I couldn’t countenance that, so this is an adapted version.



1 bunch rucola (rocket/arugula)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
250g spaghetti
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated


Rinse and drain the rucola (rocket/arugula) well.

Combine the garlic, chilli flakes and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan and cook over a medium-low heat until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs, increase the heat a bit and cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs have lightly browned and crisped, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti until al dente, turn off heat, drain it, return it to the pot and toss it with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add half the toasted bread crumbs and toss to coat well. Toss the rucola (rocket/arugula) through the spaghetti.

Serve into pasta bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs and the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.

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