“Spaghetti aglio e olio” literally translates to “spaghetti with garlic and oil.” A simple recipe stashed up every Italian’s sleeve, this dish is a perfect go-to when your fridge is empty! Each family adds their own unique “touch” like chopped capers, strips of sardines, or a simple vegetable (broccoli is often a favourite). I’m adding crisped breadcrumbs for some crunch, along with a dash of truffle oil for dinner-party-worthy sophistication. I used Queen Street Bakery’s White Bean & Grape Skin Sliced Loaf for the breadcrumbs because of its lovely texture and mildly sweet taste. Feel free to use your favourite gluten-free pasta in this dish. For a fun and healthy twist, you can substitute gluten-free pasta for spaghetti squash by preparing the squash in the oven and then fluffing up the strands. Even the pickiest dinner guest will applaud your efforts!
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Truffled QSB Bread Crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Truffle Oil, divided
- 1/2 Red Onion, minced
- 4 slices Queen Street Bakery White Bean & Grape Skin Sliced Loaf
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil, divided
- 4 ounces Prosciutto or Pancetta, thinly sliced and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 6 Garlic Cloves, smashed and peeled
- 3/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 1 pound Gluten-Free Spaghetti Pasta
- 2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
- Set a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the truffle oil. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Set skillet aside.
- Dry out your bread by placing the slices in your toaster on a low setting (you want them to get dry but not brown). Place the dried bread in a food processor and pulse until you get small (but not fine) breadcrumbs. Alternatively, cut up the toasted bread with a knife.
- Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of truffle oil. Once the oil is hot, add the breadcrumbs and toast until golden brown, stirring continuously, about 3-4 minutes
- Season the breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt and pepper, and place them on a plate.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Place the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the chopped prosciutto (or pancetta) and cook, stirring constantly, until crispy and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, place the prosciutto on a plate. Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic to the oil and cook, stirring often until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
- Add the pepper flakes to the skillet, along with the garlic and then turn off the heat.
- Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions to ensure the pasta does not overcook (it will continue to cook in the skillet as you finish the recipe).
- Return the skillet with the garlic oil to medium heat. Using tongs, remove the pasta from the water (reserve the pasta water) and add directly to the pan with the garlic and pancetta. Add the rest of the olive oil to the skillet and toss the pasta with all of the oil until coated.
- Sprinkle the pasta with 1 cup of parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Toss well to coat the pasta and form a creamy sauce.
- Add the remaining cup of cheese and up to 1/2 cup of additional pasta water to maintain a creamy sauce.
- Sprinkle the pasta with the crispy prosciutto, more parmesan, the truffled bread crumbs, chopped parsley and another drizzle of olive oil if desired. Serve warm!
Recipe Developed by Suzie Durigon, certified culinarian, culinary instructor, food blogger and chief taste tester.