Toasted Bread Crumb and Butter Sauce

serves: makes enough for 1 pound of pasta

2 tablespoons bread crumbs
8 tablespoons butter
freshly ground black pepper
hot water, from the pasta-cooking pot
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated


Toast the bread crumbs in a small skillet tossing and stirring them until they start to color. When they are almost completely browned, drop in 2 tablespoons of butter. Take the pan off the heat and swirl it to melt the butter and stop the crumbs from darkening further.

Melt the remaining butter in the big skillet over medium heat, grind pepper in generously.

Ladle in 1 cup hot pasta water and cook actively for a couple of minutes, reducing the sauce slightly. Keep at low simmer until the pasta is ready.

Toss cooked pasta and sauce together in the skillet. Off the heat, toss in the cheese and sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs on top of the pasta, just before serving.