White Pasta with Garlic Parmigiano Breadcrumbs

March  4, 2012
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

For a quick dinner, I took an idea from my childhood and put my own spin on it: pasta of your choice (I use linguine) with ricotta and milk, plus a topping of bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, butter, and Parmigiano.

A couple of notes: Take the ricotta out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you prepare the dish, as it will need to be room temperature.You don’t have to be exact with the measurements: Tailor it to suite your taste. Double the ingredients to feed a larger crowd.

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is a brilliant reminder of the pleasure that can come from combining just a few simple ingredients. I was surprised by the quantity of breadcrumb topping -- 1 1/2 cups is a lot of breadcrumbs -- but it really does set this dish apart by providing a welcome contrast to the richness of the ricotta. —Etta

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 splash of olive oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 pinch lemon zest
  • 3/4 pound linguine (or whatever pasta you like)
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus more as needed (you can also add some of the hot pasta water if you find it's a bit dry)
  • 2 cups ricotta, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, plus more to taste
In This Recipe
  1. In a skillet, melt butter with a splash of olive oil, then add the garlic and cook until it just starts to brown. Add the bread crumbs and continue to cook until the crumbs are lightly browned. Take off the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl. Add the Parmigiano, parsley, and lemon zest, stir to combine, and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When there is a rolling boil, add a lot of salt—taste the water; it should taste salty. Put the pasta in and stir to separate.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat your milk until it's hot to the touch (I microwaved it for 45 seconds). Put the ricotta and Parmigiano in your serving bowl and add the hot milk, mix it up, and season to taste. When the pasta is al dente, drain and add the hot pasta to the bowl with the ricotta-milk mixture. Toss to combine and top with the bread crumbs. Garnish with a little more grated Parmigiano and serve.

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    Kaitlin Holland
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.