6th Jul 2020 @ 9:10 pm

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.