- Â½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1Â½ cups slightly dry coarse bread crumbs
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Â¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound high-quality dried spaghetti 1 pound Maine (or other high-quality) crabmeat (fresh or thawed frozen), picked through to remove any shells
- Â½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
SautÃ©ed bread crumbs lend a great texture and delicious flavor to pasta, even when there is nothing else to accompany them except a few cloves of garlic and a handful of chopped fresh herbs.
- Put a large pot of water on to boil.
- Meanwhile, heat Â¼ cup of the olive oil in a medium sautÃ© pan over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and stir until theyâ€™re toasted and golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Add the garlic and cook over medium heat until golden. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, season with salt, and cook until the tomatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Season the boiling water with salt and add the pasta, stirring so the strands remain separate. (If the pot isnâ€™t large enough for the spaghetti to lie flat, either break the strands in half or hold one end of the pasta bundle while the other end softens in the boiling water, then release the pasta into the water.) Cover the pot if necessary to bring the water back to a boil, cook for 1 minute, then stir again. Continue to check periodically to make sure the strands arenâ€™t sticking together, and cook until the spaghetti is tender but still offers a little bit of resistance when you bite into it. Begin checking for doneness after 8 minutes. Before draining the pasta, use a measuring cup to scoop out Â¼ cup of the pasta water. Set it aside.
- Pour the pasta into a colander. While itâ€™s draining, return the tomatoes to high heat. Add the crabmeat and parsley and heat through.
- Transfer the spaghetti to a large warm bowl. Pour the sauce over it and toss well. If the sauce is too thick to coat the spaghetti, add enough of the reserved pasta water to thin it, then toss again. Toss with the bread crumbs and serve.