This Sicilian classic is the perfect light summer pasta dish, with the heady fragrance of sun-kissed basil leaves, a refreshing citrus tang and the surprising addition of fried breadcrumbs. Get it right and it’s a magical dish that you’ll remember fondly for days.
– 1 good-sized lemon, washed and wiped to remove any wax coating.
– 100ml olive oil
– 120g freshly grated parmesan cheese
– Salt and black pepper
– Fresh basil leaves
– 40g of white breadcrumbs
– 400g spaghetti or linguini
Use day old bread for the breadcrumbs, and either grate it roughly or give it a whizz in the blender.
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry the breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt until they’re golden brown and smell rich and toasty. Reserve in a bowl.
Add the pasta to the pan and cook until done (the time limit is often written on the packet).
Meanwhile, grate the lemon for zest, squeeze it for 4 tablespoons of juice, and tear or chop the basil.
Whisk lemon juice and zest with the olive oil and parmesan in a bowl. Season.
Strain the pasta, reserving a little cooking liquid, and put it in the bowl. Add a little cooking water and toss it around until fully coated. Add basil, toss briefly once more and serve, passing the breadcrumbs around to sprinkle on top.