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angel hair pasta with tuna lemon and pancetta herb crumb

This angel hair pasta with tuna lemon and pancetta herb crumb is inspired by Sicilian cuisine where fried or crisp flavoured breadcrumbs are often added to give texture to favourite pasta dishes. Use any pasta you prefer but make sure you use good quality tuna packed in olive oil.

Angel hair pasta with tuna lemon and pancetta herb crumb

  • 400g angel hair pasta or fine spaghetti
  • 2 x 95g cans Safcol tuna in olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves crushed
  • 100g coarse white sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 50g round mild pancetta finely diced
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • finely grated zest from one lemon
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 1 hot red chilli deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2/3 cup of roughly chopped flat leafed parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

angel hair pasta with tuna lemon and pancetta herb crumb method

Preheat the oven to 170°C

In a large bowl mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the breadcrumbs, thyme and pancetta until well combined. Spread in a thin layer on a baking tray and place in the preheated oven bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven and set on one side. Cook the pasta following the manufacturer’s instructions for al dente. Drain and reserve a little of the pasta cooking water. Using a large heavy bottomed sauté or frying pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until just fragrant and very slightly changing colour. Add the tuna with the olive oil from the tins and stir to break up the flakes slightly. As soon as it starts to warm through turn off the heat and add the hot cooked pasta, lemon rind, chilli, parsley a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and finish with the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with the pancetta crumbs and a little chopped parsley.

Tip: The pancetta crumbs can be cooked well before you prepare the pasta and just warmed up for a minute or two in the oven or under a low grill before using them.


Did you know: Capelli d’angelo , literally angel hair — hence, “angel hair pasta” in English) with a diameter between 0.78 and 0.88 mm is an even thinner variant of capellini. They are often sold in a nest-like shape. Capelli d’angelo has been popular in Italy since at least the 14th century. As a very light pasta, it goes well in soups or as “pasta asciutta” with a seafood or other light sauces. source: Wiki

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angel hair pasta with tuna lemon and pancetta herb crumb
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