Orecchiette with Slow-Cooked Garlic, Capers, and Bread Crumbs

Orecchiette is tossed with a sweet and spicy garlic olive oil and topped with toasted breadcrumbs.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4-6
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1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup cubed crusty Italian bread

1 anchovy fillet

1/4 cup drained and chopped capers

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound orecchiette

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Combine the garlic, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden and tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a bowl using a slotted spoon and smash with a fork.
  3. Add the cubed bread to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, and when cool, crush into crumbs with your hands.
  4. Stir the anchovy into the skillet until dissolved. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the capers, red pepper flakes, mashed garlic, and a few grinds of pepper.
  5. Add the orecchiette to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet with the cooking water and cheese. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the parsley and bread crumbs over the top and serve. 
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