September 24, 2023


Food Information

Pasta with Breadcrumbs Recipe from Basilicata. – The Pasta Mission

8 min read

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

pasta with breadcrumbs.

Pasta mollicata.

Pasta with breadcrumbs, or pasta mollicata, is a signature dish within the Southern Italian kitchen. Also referred to as 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 referred to as Rosina del Castellano to have fun the victory of her villagers and the native Byzantine monks towards Saracen invaders.

Pasta with breadcrumbs recipe from Basilicata.

In response to a narrative often known as the legend of the ferricelli, Rosina was visited by the Virgin Mary the day earlier than the battle. Seemingly in anticipation of a victory towards the enemy, Mary gave the lady 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 kind 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 components; bucatini or spaghetti, stale bread, anchovies, garlic, olive oil and parsley (non-obligatory)

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

Breadcrumbs have lengthy been utilized in Southern Italy instead of cheese. The truth is, they’re typically referred to as ‘the poor man’s cheese’!

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

Totally 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 components could be chopped tomatoes and even ragu, grated cheese or crushed/powdered native Senise peppers (peperone cruschi). You too can 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 components.

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

What are breadcrumbs referred to as in Italian?

Italian recipes that embrace breadcrumbs confer with them as both pangrattato or mollica di pane. Pangrattato could be do-it-yourself or storebought. Initially individuals 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.

The truth is, ‘pangrattato’ interprets to grated bread. This type of breadcrumbs is kind of effective and sometimes 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 outdated. That is the standard sort of breadcrumbs for this pasta recipe and most sorts of Italian meatballs (polpette). Nevertheless, 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 relies 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 variety of pasta varieties initially made with a ferretto in Southern Italy. Fileja from Calabria and Sicilian casarecce are two examples. Like ferricelli, fileja are additionally typically referred to as ‘fusilli’.

Many imagine these sorts of pasta have been the ancestors of as we speak’s fusilli, though the unique form may be very completely different to the fusilli most individuals purchase as we speak. The truth is, 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 a giant 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 manner as a result of in Sicily, it principally all the time has anchovies!

In fact, you may depart the anchovies out if you need 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 a number of the fried breadcrumbs.

Nevertheless, it’s price noting that anchovies truly soften if you sauté them in olive oil together with the opposite components. 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. Finest often known as 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.

The way to make this pasta with breadcrumbs and anchovies.

The one components on this conventional recipe other than the pasta and bread, are anchovies (if utilizing), garlic, olive oil and salt. You too can add chopped parsley when serving and a little bit of peperoncino if you need it barely spicy.

Step one is to make the breadcrumbs that are positively 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 effective.

Fry these breadcrumbs in heated olive oil till they’re golden and crispy. Then take away them from the pan. You possibly can 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’s going to style bitter.

Prepare dinner the pasta al dente, save somewhat 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 just a few seconds. Lastly, add a number of the fried breadcrumbs and blend the whole lot once more. Serve instantly with a beneficiant sprinkling of extra breadcrumbs!

Pasta with breadcrumbs.

A terrific weeknight recipe.

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

If you happen to 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 quite a bit to me!

Buon Appetito!

Different fast and straightforward 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 very easy to make! Miss the anchovies for a vegan/vegetarian model and add parsley, peperoncino or grated cheese if desired. Excellent for weeknight meals and as a midnight pasta selection!

Prep Time 10 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 20 minutes

Course Most important 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
  • contemporary parsley chopped (non-obligatory)
  • 1 tsp peperoncino flakes (non-obligatory)


Prepare dinner pasta

  • Put a pot of water onto boil for the pasta. Add salt as soon as it begins to boil after which prepare dinner the pasta al dente in response to 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 massive 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 just a few seconds. The starch within the cooking water will assist to make the sauce creamier.

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


Miss 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 sort.
Leftovers could be saved sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days and reheated in a skillet with somewhat extra olive oil. You too can use them to make a frittata! Freezing leftovers isn’t really useful. 

Key phrase anchovy pasta, bucatini recipe, pasta with breadcrumbs

Are you interested by studying learn how to make do-it-yourself pasta and several types of gnocchi? Then take a look at my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my associates in Rome! Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus when you’re there why not order a replica of one among my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some really useful pasta making instruments?

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