During the month of December, the food fest that is Christmas dinner becomes an obsession. It’s all-consuming to plan, shop for and cook a feast of the fishes – or whatever your particular tradition may be.
Glorious as the holidays are, January is a welcome respite. And simple spaghetti with toasted breadcrumbs is the perfect antidote.
This is the sort of dish you can pull together fast without so much as going to the market. The only ingredients you might not have in your pantry are Italian parsley and oregano.
If you happen to have leftover bread, make your own breadcrumbs. Toss day-old (or two-day-old) bread into a food processor and pulse for a few minutes to chop. Add the finely chopped crumbs to a dry saute pan over medium heat to toast. And there you have it.
I do very little to season this spaghetti: Just toss with garlic, salt, pepper and either oregano or marjoram. Fresh oregano offers an entirely different flavor than the pizza-joint dried oregano Americans know well. Fresh oregano or marjoram brings a citrus or sweet pine flavor welcome during the cold winter months.
The key to spaghetti is to serve it immediately after removing the pasta from the pot. La pasta non aspetta a nessuno: Pasta waits for no one. It needs to go right in your mouth. And so it will.
To see a printable version of this recipe, click on the link below:
Mario Batali is the owner of Babbo, Lupa, Otto and other renowned restaurants. His latest book is “Molto Batali,” published by Ecco.