Homemade super-crunchy bread crumbs — made from the last bits of a leftover loaf — elevate this simple pasta dish, teeming with spicy, garlicky greens. Any pasta works for this dish, but short, tubular shapes are great for catching all those flavorful bread crumbs and cheese.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven until deeply browned and dry, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool, then crush with your hands, a skillet or a meat mallet, depending on how fine you like your bread crumbs.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente.
After the pasta has been cooking for about 5 minutes, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in your largest skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chile flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the greens, season with salt and cook, tossing, until they are beginning to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the pasta to the skillet along with ½ cup of the pasta water. Cook, tossing, until the liquid reduces and coats the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and immediately serve the pasta in bowls, topped with bread crumbs and Parm.
Get our new Cooking newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.