Nonna Teresa's Pasta

A good pangrattato (flavoured crispy breadcrumbs) has the ability to add not only flavour, but also incredible texture to a meal. The use of horseradish here is very unusual, yet very delicious and makes total sense as it was one of the few vegetables growing locally to Teresa. Dishes like this respect the scarcity of ingredients.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 15 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

300 grams (10 ounces) dried bucatini or rigatoni

Olive oil

50 grams (2 ounces) coarse stale breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes

5 centimeters (2 inches) fresh horseradish

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 a bunch of fresh thyme (15 grams [0.5 ounce])

2 dried red peppers, or 8 sun-dried tomatoes

Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of starchy cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, for the pangrattato, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan on a medium-high heat with the breadcrumbs and chilli flakes. Peel and finely grate in the horseradish, then fry for 5 minutes, or until crisp, stirring regularly. Tip into a bowl and put aside. Return the frying pan to a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Peel, finely slice and add the garlic, strip in the thyme leaves, then tear in the dried peppers, discarding the seeds. Fry for just 1 minute, then toss in the drained pasta, loosening with a little reserved cooking water, if needed. Season to perfection, divide between warm bowls, drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and generously sprinkle over the pangrattato.
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