Aglio e Olio with Pecorino Breadcrumbs

A twist on a classic Italian dish – Aglio e Olio.  The crunchy breadcrumbs along with the capers and lemon add just the right punch to this!  Yum!



12 ounces of Tri-Color Pasta Ruffles (or any short shape pasta)

2 cups cubed or hand torn stale, peasant style bread (I used sourdough)

½ cup Pecorino cheese

¾ Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup for breadcrumbs + ¼ cup for sauce)

2 T. + ½ cup olive oil

8 anchovy fillets

810 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

4 T. capers, drained

1 lemon, zested and about 2 T. fresh lemon juice

¼ cup dry white wine

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water BEFORE draining, then toss drained pasta with a drizzle of oil, and leave aside.

Place bread pieces in a food processor and pulse until they are in coarse pieces/crumbs.  Toss in a bowl with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, then with all Pecorino and ½ cup Parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt – the cheese has plenty of salty flavor!).

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with Pam or cooking oil.  Spread breadcrumbs over foil, and place in oven and bake for approx. 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

In a large skillet, heat 1/2 cup olive oil to medium high heat, and add anchovies.  They will start to dissolve in the warm oil and you can help that along with a wooden spoon, approx. 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, capers, and lemon zest to the oil. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and lemon juice. Reduce heat to medium low.

Add the pasta water, the cooked pasta, fresh parsley, and ¼ cup Parmesan to the oil mixture.  Toss gently until well combined.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Serve pasta in bowls and top with the breadcrumbs.  Enjoy!

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