Sicilian Spaghetti alla Carrettiera originated from the cart drivers in Sicily who would whip up a quick and delicious pasta dish using simple on-hand ingredients. A breeze to prepare, our recipe uses fresh, uncooked summer tomatoes as the base for the pasta sauce. Apart from tomatoes, the sauce includes minced garlic, red chili flakes, EVOO, fresh basil or parsley. Today's Spaghetti all Carrettiera is often topped with toasted breadcrumbs, as is ours. There is a popular Roman version of this dish that uses cooked canned tomatoes, combined with the same ingredients and adds black olives and capers.
340g packaged spaghetti
5 medium ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup Garlic olive oil
1/2-1 tsp red chili flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs, toasted
Cook spaghetti according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water before draining. Do not rinse pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, use a box grater to grate the tomatoes directly into a bowl. Discard skins. In a large bowl, combine the freshly grated tomatoes, garlic EVOO and red chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine ingredients and set aside.
In a separate skillet, heat a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and toast them until they turn golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
Add cooked spaghetti to the bowl with the tomato mixture. Toss thoroughly until spaghetti is completely coated, gently adding reserved pasta water a little at a time for creaminess.
Divide the pasta among serving plates. Garnish with torn fresh basil leaves, toasted breadcrumbs, and fresh extra virgin olive oil.
If desired, offer grated Pecorino Romano cheese at the table for individuals to sprinkle on their servings.
Serve the Sicilian Spaghetti alla Carrettiera immediately, allowing the raw tomato sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs to create a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
The addition of breadcrumbs brings an extra layer of texture and depth to the dish, making it even more authentic and delightful in the Sicilian style.
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