Spaghettini with zucchini, anchovy and pangrattato

Jill Dupleix
Pangrattato is Italian for breadcrumbs and adds crunch to a diverse range of dishes.
Pangrattato is Italian for breadcrumbs and adds crunch to a diverse range of dishes. Photo: Peter Rae

Pangrattato is Italian for breadcrumbs - crunchy, toasty crumbs that make a brilliant topping for vegetables, salads, pasta and brunchy weekend egg dishes. It's a great way of making use of every scrap of perfectly good bread. In this recipe, swap out the zucchini for cauliflower, broccolini or leafy greens such as kale or cavolo nero.


300g spaghettini

3 zucchini, finely sliced

6 anchovy fillets, torn into pieces

1 tbsp mint leaves

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp finely grated parmesan

1 lemon, for serving

For the pangrattato

4 big, thick slices of stale sourdough (if your bread isn't stale enough, tear into small pieces and dry it in a low oven for 20 minutes first)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

half garlic clove, finely grated

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

pinch of dry chilli flakes

3 tbsp finely chopped parsley


1. To make the pangrattato, remove crusts and tear the bread into small pieces. Whiz briefly to a coarse crumb in a food processor. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the crumbs and cook, tossing well, until golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, lemon zest, chilli and parsley, tossing well.

2. Cook the pasta in simmering, salted water until just al dente.

3. Drop the zucchini into the boiling pasta water, bring it back to the boil for 30 seconds, then drain the pasta and zucchini together.

4. Toss the pasta and zucchini with the torn anchovy, mint, a good slug of extra-virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of the crumbs.

5. Divide between bowls and scatter generously with parmesan and remaining crumbs. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.