Pasta with Breadcrumbs Recipe from Basilicata. – The Pasta Challenge

One of many easiest, quickest, and but most scrumptious pasta recipes must be this pasta with breadcrumbs and anchovies. This southern Italian basic will be on the desk in 20-Half-hour and is really easy to make! Pass over the anchovies for a vegan/vegetarian model and add parsley, peperoncino or grated cheese if desired. Good for weeknight meals and as a midnight pasta alternative!

pasta with breadcrumbs.

Pasta mollicata.

Pasta with breadcrumbs, or pasta mollicata, is a signature dish within the Southern Italian kitchen. Also called pasta ca’ muddica or pasta ammudicata, this straightforward recipe is widespread and conventional in Basilicata, Sicily, Calabria and Puglia.

The origins of pasta with breadcrumbs.

In response to meals historians (or maybe meals legend), the primary proof of pasta with breadcrumbs dates again to the early Center Ages to the city of Armento, in Basilicata. Apparently, in 976 A.D., this dish was made by a shepherd’s spouse known as Rosina del Castellano to rejoice the victory of her villagers and the native Byzantine monks in opposition to Saracen invaders.

Pasta with breadcrumbs recipe from Basilicata.

In response to a narrative often called the legend of the ferricelli, Rosina was visited by the Virgin Mary the day earlier than the battle. Seemingly in anticipation of a victory in opposition to the enemy, Mary gave the girl a ferretto (wire stick used to make pasta prior to now) and informed her the villagers would wish meals after the approaching battle.

Rosina made a sort of pasta locals name ferricelli utilizing the ferretto. She then served the pasta with crumbs of stale bread fried in oil. Or so the story goes!

Ingredients for pasta with breadcrumbs on marble worktop.
Step 1 Collect your substances; bucatini or spaghetti, stale bread, anchovies, garlic, olive oil and parsley (elective)

Definitely, pasta with breadcrumbs is a really historical dish that originated, like many others, in Italy’s cucina povera or peasant kitchen. It’s a recipe invented to not solely expend stale bread but in addition so as to add flavour and bulk to what’s a quite simple dish.

Breadcrumbs have lengthy been utilized in Southern Italy rather than cheese. In truth, they’re usually known as ‘the poor man’s cheese’!

Homemade breadcrumbs inside small food processor.
Step 2 Make the breadcrumbs utilizing a meals processor.

Completely different variations of pasta with breadcrumbs.

In Basilicata, they make the only model of this recipe with simply breadcrumbs, olive oil and garlic. Different extra substances will be chopped tomatoes and even ragu, grated cheese or crushed/powdered native Senise peppers (peperone cruschi). You may as well discover pasta with breadcrumbs that has anchovies, raisins, or almonds.

Breadcrumbs in white bowl. Chopped garlic and anchovies in white bowl and Glass jug with olive oil.
Step 3 Prep the substances.

In Calabria and Sicily, they often make pasta with breadcrumbs with spaghetti or bucatini and embody anchovies. It additionally usually has peperoncino (Italian pink chilli pepper) and generally parsley. In Puglia (and in Basilicata), you could find orecchiette ammollicate. That is just like the recipe under however utilizing orecchiette pasta.

What are breadcrumbs known as in Italian?

Italian recipes that embody breadcrumbs check with them as both pangrattato or mollica di pane. Pangrattato will be do-it-yourself or storebought. Initially folks made it by grating stale bread after which drying it or toasting it within the oven at a really low temperature.

Fresh homemade breadcrumbs in skillet with olive oil.
Step 4 Fry the breadcrumbs in heated olive oil.

In truth, ‘pangrattato’ interprets to grated bread. This sort of breadcrumbs is sort of wonderful and infrequently made utilizing each the crust and the crumb (the within of the bread).

Mollica di pane is breadcrumbs made with simply the within of slices of bread which can be a day or two previous. That is the normal kind of breadcrumbs for this pasta recipe and most sorts of Italian meatballs (polpette). Nonetheless, for pasta the breadcrumbs are often fried in olive oil till they’re golden and crispy.

Golden and crispy homemade breadcrumbs in skillet.
Step 5 When the breadcrumbs are golden and crispy, take away from the pan.

Which pasta is finest with breadcrumbs.

In Italy, the kind of pasta utilized in pasta with breadcrumbs will depend on the area. You need to use orecchiette like in Puglia or spaghetti or bucatini as in Sicily and Calabria. In Basilicata, they historically make this recipe with ‘ferricelli’ like within the legend talked about above. Regionally, they name this dish ferriciell cu la muddica or fusill’ cu’ muddia.

Pieces of anchovies and chopped garlic in skillet with olive oil.
Step 6 Sauté the anchovies and garlic in olive oil.

There are a selection of pasta sorts initially made with a ferretto in Southern Italy. Fileja from Calabria and Sicilian casarecce are two examples. Like ferricelli, fileja are additionally generally known as ‘fusilli’.

Many consider these sorts of pasta have been the ancestors of at the moment’s fusilli, though the unique form could be very completely different to the fusilli most individuals purchase at the moment. In truth, each fileja and ferricelli look extra like rustic brief bucatini.

Pieces of anchovie and chopped garlic cooked in olive oil in skillet.
Step 7 Prepare dinner the garlic and anchovies till the latter have ‘melted’.

With or with out anchovies?

I’m an enormous anchovy fan and added anchovies to my pasta with breadcrumbs. The recipe I adopted is from Basilicata and requires anchovies. Plus, my Sicilian husband prefers it that method as a result of in Sicily, it largely at all times has anchovies!

After all, you possibly can depart the anchovies out if you’d like a vegan/vegetarian model or don’t like them.

Cooked bucatini in skillet with breadcrumbs and anchovies.
Step 8 Prepare dinner the pasta al dente, drain it and add it to the anchovies and garlic. Combine and add among the fried breadcrumbs.

Nonetheless, it’s price noting that anchovies really soften whenever you sauté them in olive oil together with the opposite substances. Anchovies actually don’t style fishy. When ‘melted’ in olive oil or a sauce they add a briny, savoury umami flavour to any dish you employ them in.

They’re additionally very nutritious and have many nutritional vitamins and minerals that present main well being advantages. Greatest often called a supply of Omega-3 fatty acids, anchovies are loaded with protein. As well as, they’re a wonderful supply of calcium, selenium, niacin, vitamin B12, potassium and vitamin A!

Bucatini pasta with breadcrumbs and anchovies.
Step 9 Serve instantly sprinkled with extra fried breadcrumbs.

Learn how to make this pasta with breadcrumbs and anchovies.

The one substances on this conventional recipe aside from the pasta and bread, are anchovies (if utilizing), garlic, olive oil and salt. You may as well add chopped parsley when serving and a little bit of peperoncino if you’d like it barely spicy.

Step one is to make the breadcrumbs that are undoubtedly finest do-it-yourself. Break up the within of 2-3 slices of semi stale rustic bread into small items after which mix them in a meals processor till they’re fairly small, however not wonderful.

Fry these breadcrumbs in heated olive oil till they’re golden and crispy. Then take away them from the pan. You may add garlic to the pan if you wish to have garlicky breadcrumbs

Pasta with breadcrumbs recipe from Basilicata.

Subsequent put a pot of water onto boil for the pasta. Whereas the water is boiling for the pasta, sauté the chopped garlic and anchovies over a medium warmth in olive oil till the latter have melted. Watch out to not let the garlic burn as it is going to style bitter.

Prepare dinner the pasta al dente, save a bit pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the garlic and anchovies. Combine collectively nicely.

If the pasta appears dry, add a few of that magic cooking water and stir over a low warmth for a number of seconds. Lastly, add among the fried breadcrumbs and blend every part once more. Serve instantly with a beneficiant sprinkling of extra breadcrumbs!

Pasta with breadcrumbs.

An amazing weeknight recipe.

That is palms down one in all our favorite weeknight pasta recipes. It’s additionally nice as a midnight pasta whenever you’re up late and feeling peckish. I’m certain, if you happen to give this pasta with breadcrumbs and anchovies a attempt, you’ll find it irresistible as a lot as most Southern Italians do!

In case you do do that recipe, I’d like to know what you consider it. Please write a remark right here on the weblog or put up a touch upon the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your suggestions means loads to me!

Buon Appetito!

Different fast and simple Italian pasta recipes.

  1. Spaghetti alla Gennaro from Naples.
  2. Gorgonzola pasta alla cenere.
  3. Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.
  4. Pasta with tuna carbonara.
  5. Spaghetti alla carbonara.
  6. Pasta aglio, olio, peperoncino.
Pasta with breadcrumbs.

Pasta with breadcrumbs recipe from Basilicata


Pasta with breadcrumbs is a Southern Italian basic that may be on the desk in 20-Half-hour and is really easy to make! Pass over the anchovies for a vegan/vegetarian model and add parsley, peperoncino or grated cheese if desired. Good for weeknight meals and as a midnight pasta alternative!

Prep Time 10 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 20 minutes

Course Principal Course, Snack

Delicacies Basilicata, Italian, Mediterranean, Southern Italian

Servings 4

Energy 542 kcal


  • 14 oz Bucatini or spaghetti (400g)
  • 2-3 slices nation bread semi-stale
  • 4 anchovy fillets in oil or salted (rinsed)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp additional virgin olive oil.
  • salt for pasta and to style
  • recent parsley chopped (elective)
  • 1 tsp peperoncino flakes (elective)


Prepare dinner pasta

  • Put a pot of water onto boil for the pasta. Add salt as soon as it begins to boil after which cook dinner the pasta al dente in line with the directions on the packet. When the pasta is cooked, avoid wasting cooking water and drain it.

End and serve

  • Whereas the water is boiling, sauté the garlic and anchovies in a skillet giant sufficient to carry the pasta till the anchovies have melted. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and blend nicely with the anchovies and garlic. If it appears dry, add some pasta cooking water and blend over a low warmth for a number of seconds. The starch within the cooking water will assist to make the sauce creamier.

  • Add among the breadcrumbs and blend them into the pasta. Then serve instantly sprinkled with a beneficiant quantity of extra fried breadcrumbs.


Pass over the anchovies for a vegan/vegetarian model and add parsley, peperoncino or grated cheese if desired.
You can also make this recipe with bucatini, spaghetti, orecchiette or your favorite pasta kind.
Leftovers will be stored sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days and reheated in a skillet with a bit extra olive oil. You may as well use them to make a frittata! Freezing leftovers isn’t really useful. 

Key phrase anchovy pasta, bucatini recipe, pasta with breadcrumbs

Are you curious about studying the right way to make do-it-yourself pasta and various kinds of gnocchi? Then take a look at my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my mates in Rome! Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus when you’re there why not order a replica of one in all my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some really useful pasta making instruments?

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