You can prepare the sauce (follow the recipe through Step 10) and bread crumbs several hours before cooking the pasta. The bread crumbs will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer. Reheat and crisp in a dry pan over medium heat. The tomato sauce will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, 2 sliced, 1 minced
- 150 ml fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1 400ml can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 150ml green or black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (2 ounces)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 350g spaghetti, preferably a good whole-wheat brand
- 60 ml chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- 60 ml freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
- Begin heating a large pot of water for the pasta.
- Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the sliced garlic over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan or skillet.
- Cook, stirring often, until the garlic turns golden, about two minutes. Do not let it take on any more color than this.
- Remove the garlic slices with a slotted spoon and discard, then add the bread crumbs to the pan.
- Turn the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until the bread crumbs are crisp.
- Remove from the heat, and set aside.
- Return the pan to medium heat, and add the remaining olive oil, the red pepper flakes and the minced garlic.
- Cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic smells fragrant, and add the tomatoes, capers and olives.
- Bring to a simmer, and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper – but gently – my sauce usually had much salt (olives, capers) and much pepper (red chili flakes..)
- When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the spaghetti.
- If sauce not hot, re-heat now.
- Cook pasta al dente, following the cooking recommendations on the package but checking about a minute before the suggested time.
- Drain, and toss with the tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs and parsley on top, toss again briefly and serve, passing the Parmesan at the table.