An effortless meals you can throw together from this and that lurking around your cabinets. Rigatoni, simply boiled until al dente. A crumbly topping of breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic, rosemary, and Parmesan, toasted until nutty and Tuscan tasting. And the world's simplest sauce: pasta water "monté au beurre." Just add the pasta water with a bit of cold butter whipped into it. Together, they make a light, milky sauce that adds just enough moisture, but lets the crumb topping be the crowning glory. Comforting on its own, or great as a side with roast chicken.
About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.
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- 1 cup breadcrumbs, preferably fresh
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsatled butter (divided)
- 1 pound dry rigatoni rigate
In the food processor, combine breadcrumbs, garlic, rosemary, almonds, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pulse until just combined, about 5 one-second pulses. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed into the crumbs, about 5 more pulses. Place the mixture in a sauté pan over medium heat, and toast, stirring often, until the crumbs are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni according to package directions in a pot of salted water. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water before draining the pasta. Add the water back to the empty pasta pot, and bring to a simmer. Cube the remaining cold butter, and whisk it in a little at a time, to create a milky emulsion. Remove from heat and stir in the rigatoni. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a serving bowl, and top with the breadcrumb mixture, extra Parmigiano Reggiano, and torn rosemary leaves.