September 12, 2017

RECIPE: Garlic Pasta with Bread Crumbs

I don't usually write recipes posts for Runs for Cookies, and I hope not to disappoint you in that I am not a chef, a food stylist, nor a photographer. Basically, I am a stay-at-home mom that cooks cheap meals for my family--some balanced and healthy, but others not at all. Some of my recipes use ingredients like (gasp!) cream of mushroom soup, or (the horror!) ranch dressing mix. I grew up with this kind of food, and what can I say? I like it!

I am happy enough to get food on the table that my family will eat. So, as a forewarning, you will not see lovely photos of elegant dishes that are just chock full of nutrition. I make no apologies. But, I share these in case your family is like mine, and you just want some new ideas.

I have a recipe book called Cheap. Fast. Good., and it's full of recipes that pretty much are cheap, fast, and good. There are few of the recipes that have become go-to's for my family. The book is no longer in print, but you can pick it up for cheap on Amazon if you really want it.

This recipe for Garlic Pasta with Bread Crumbs comes from that book. It's actually called Pasta with Bread Crumbs, and I just threw the "Garlic" in there to make it sound slightly more appealing. The recipe actually didn't sound that great to me, which is why it took me 12 years to try it (since I bought the book).

Instead of any commentary before the recipes that I post on this blog, I will save it for after the recipe itself. That way, if you're just looking for the recipe and you really don't give a shit what I think of it, you can just skip all that. You're welcome.

(I hate when I am looking for recipes on blogs and you have to scroll through a thousand pictures and stories to get to the recipe. I understand the idea--but sometimes I just want to take a quick glance at the recipe and see if I even have the ingredients on hand, you know what I mean?) I even made a printer-friendly PDF recipe for convenience.

Garlic Pasta recipe

Garlic Pasta with Bread Crumbs (with my modifications)

8 oz. Penne (or other short pasta)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
6-8 small cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup bread crumbs (you can make them with stale bread in the food processor, but I just used store-bought ones)
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt (I think it needed more salt, so you may want to use 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese


Cook the pasta according to package directions (don't forget to salt the water).

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; and then add 2 tsp. of the olive oil and the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly so that the garlic doesn't burn, for about one minute. (Take a second to put your nose over the pan and smell it--it's like heaven.) Add the bread crumbs and the Italian seasoning, and stir until the bread crumbs are coated. It may see like too many bread crumbs, but keep stirring. It'll work out.

Drain the pasta when it's done cooking, and put it back in the pot. Add the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil (if you forgot to reserve it, no worries--just add another teaspoon--a little extra healthy fat never hurt anyone). Toss the pasta to coat with the oil, and then stir in the Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine well.

Finally, when the bread crumbs are nice and toasty (they should be by now), add them to the pot with the pasta, and stir well to coat the pasta. Serve with a hot side of marinara for dipping.

My commentary:

This was really good--the family all agreed it tasted like garlic bread or like the breadsticks you get with pizza. I thought it was a little dry, because there is no sauce. I think it would be delicious with a thick, chunky marinara sauce on the side for dipping. (If you were to pour it on top, the bread crumbs would probably get mushy.) I found it to be much more filling than your typical pasta, and I actually didn't even finish my serving.

Overall thoughts: Good recipe, but not one of my favorites. I would make it again, but serve it with marinara sauce for sure. It's VERY cheap, and I always have these ingredients on hand, so it's a convenient and tasty recipe to make in a pinch. I would probably give this a 3/5 overall.


  1. Ha! I so agree with your comment about having to scroll through so much crap on recipe posts. Sometimes I will just leave the page because I don't CAREEEEEEEEEE I just want to check out the recipe! The only exception to this is the Pioneer Woman. She's the only one where I don't just hate the pre-recipe banter. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way :)

  2. Looks yummy! But equally important- seriously, thank you for putting your comments at the end! I usually come to your blog *for* all of your lovely comments and stories, but I hate it when I bookmark a recipe from a blog, and any time I reference it I have to scroll through paragraphs and paragraphs of some anecdote relating to it. So, thanks!

  3. What's wrong with cream of mushroom soup and ranch dressing mix? Maybe I missed something?

    1. I don't think there is anything wrong with it! (Which is why I referenced it that way). But a lot of food bloggers snub it because it's not a whole/natural food. You may notice on Pinterest or other recipe sharing sites that people say, "without using any cream of something soup!" I use a lot of processed food ingredients, and I'm okay with that :)

    2. I LOVE your response! And I love how you cut to the chase. Processed food shaming is real, lol :)
      I need fast & good & cheap. 2 toddler boys (just 3 & almost 2), husband, FT job, cows, pigs, 1 dog, 5 cats ... life is hectic for this mama farmer. Thank you for your blog, and for being yourself & honest.

  4. I like your cooking style! I can't be bothered to make recipe components from scratch like breadcrumbs, broth, piecrust, etc. when store bought components are perfectly viable, affordable, and taste good. Carry on!

  5. I can't believe you have that cookbook! I found it recently in my library and it had been a hand-me-down gift from a friend.

    I found myself just looking through it the other night!

  6. Loved this post, I'm always looking for a new recipe. I love your straight forward way about the ingredients too! Thanks!

  7. This looks yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Long-time reader, but I don't think I have ever commented. I fully agree with the issue of having recipes at the bottom of blog posts! Have you ever tried the Paprika App? It is AMAZING for holding online recipes and pulling only the ingredients and directions plus will set up a grocery list for you. It is not free (my only not free app!!) and worth every penny of the $4.99. No affiliation with the app or company... just a lover of convenient recipe storage! Looking forward to more recipe posts in the future!

  9. I feel a little bad that after reading your blog for so long, this is the post that's compelled me to comment... I relate to so much about what you've written about in the past, but this post has me ROTFL'ing and head nodding in agreement. I love catching up on your pursuit of happiness! I'm on a similar path that I too found through addressing mental health issues that came to light from weight loss. Thanks for keeping up with the blog, I find it very enjoyable and validating and hope you continue it.

  10. I used to eat this when I was a kid. My mom was preparing this quite often actually. Instead of the bread crumbs she would use roasted walnuts after smashing them in small little pieces, pretty much the same consistency like the bread crumbs. She used a blender for that. Also she wouldn't use garlic pasta but just regular pasta. Some sugar on top and it was a killer dish. Now that I'm thinking of, that might be a great dish the day before the racing day to carb up ;) Cheers for reminding me! Vic

  11. I haven't added it (yet), but I recently read about a new option for some recipe plugins that includes a "Jump to Recipe" button at the top of the post. I love to ramble on my blog posts but I also love providing a good reader experience, so I really need to check on it! :) On another note - your style of cooking is VERY much like mine. I love easy, good food. If it has a cream of whatever soup in it, even better!

  12. YES, UGH, THE STORIES. I understand why bloggers do it, but I'm more interested in the story after I've seen the recipe.

    Also, I love your honesty about what you eat. :)


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