Spaghetti cooked al dente and tossed in a buttery pangrattato of garlic, lemon zest, almonds and sage; is what all summer pasta meals should be all about. Dotted with juicy cherry tomatoes, olives, fresh basil and a sprinkling of parmesan; this garlicky-lemony wholemeal pasta salad is perfect for sitting on the porch and digging in while sipping on a cold Lambrusco and watching the sun go down!
We have been eating sauce drenched pasta for as long as I can remember. That is just how the boys love it. The funny thing is their inbuilt filtration system that gobbles down the pasta but leaves the sauce behind. When it got to a point where their finished plates resembled more curry than pasta, I put my foot down. The first time I made a sauce-less pasta dish, I received looks of utter disbelief from the two. The second time around I think they almost enjoyed it. These days they don’t mind it at all but I make this beautiful light pasta dish more for me.
There is a depth of flavor in the simple pan-fried herbs in a butter base. It is flavoured with earthy garlic crisped in the pan , the full bodied tang of lemon and a motley of fresh herbs and veggies and is perfect for a quick brunch when sauce drenched pasta just doesn’t feel right. The pasta tastes beautiful either warm or cold leaving you plenty of opportunity to get creative with how you want to serve it. This is the original recipe from my cookbook Tasty Express, that has spawned many a delightful seasonal variations in our home. We love it with a side of herb olives, homemade artichoke pickle and an extra grating of parmesan on top.
WHOLEMEAL SPAGHETTI SALAD WITH GARLIC ALMOND AND HERB CRUMBS
- 300 g wholemeal spaghetti
- 60 g butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 10 sage leaves, finely chopped
- ½ cup 20g fresh breadcrumbs
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup 90g raw almonds, crushed
- 1 cup finely chopped spinach
- ½ cup chopped basil
- handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup Romano or Parmesan cheese + extra to serve
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well.
- Heat butter and oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan on medium. Add garlic and sauté until crispy. Add sage, breadcrumbs, almonds, lemon zest and lemon juice. Sauté for a few minutes on low heat until fragrant. Add tomatoes, spinach and basil. Cook for a minute or two until spinach is wilted.
- Add spaghetti to the pan and toss to mix well. Cook for a minute or two until heated through. Remove from heat. Add cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Serve with extra cheese.