Sunday Comfort Food: Lemon Aglio e Oglio Pasta with Homemade Garlic Breadcrumbs (vegan, gf)

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Last weekend I went home to New Jersey to visit my family. I go back at least 3-4 times a year (more in the summer)… if not for anything else, to get an appointment with the only colorist I let touch my hair (#Jerseygirlproblems?). It was great to see my parents and brother and get to run on all my favorite routes I grew up on, and get to visit some of my old favorite restaurants.

On Sunday, I cooked dinner for my parents. I made the Lemon Aglio e Oglio Spaghetti I had teased on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. Here it is — the full recipe!

I used Banza spaghetti, made from chickpea flour, which is my go-to gluten-free pasta brand. It’s really easy to find in stores, not too expensive, and as tasty as it is nutritious. With 8 grams of fiber, and 14 grams of protein, it is, quite literally, power pasta. My one tip with Banza — always cook it less than it says on the box! It says to cook it 8-10 minutes… we usually cook ours around 6. Test it often while cooking to see when it reaches al dente.

Serves 4 very generous-sized bowls, or 6 more normal-sized portions


For the lemon aglio e oglio sauce:

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely-ground black pepper

For the garlic breadcrumbs:

  • 2-3 slices hearty whole grain bread (I used Happy Campers’ Seedy Buckwheat Molasses). Stale bread works great for homemade breadcrumbs, but you can also use fresh bread, toasted.
  • 2-3 tsp minced garlic
  • Generous drizzle extra-virgin olive oil

For the pasta:

  • 8 oz. Banza Spaghetti (or 2 boxes)
  • More salt and pepper, to serve
  • Nutritional yeast, to serve
  • Lemon zest (optional), to serve


1. Fill a large pot with salted water, cover it, and bring it to a rolling boil.

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2. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare your breadcrumbs. If using fresh bread, toast it first, then pop it in a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse until it’s reached a fine, breadcrumb-like consistency. If using stale bread, you can skip the toasting step, and pulse it right away.

3. Pour the breadcrumbs into an oven-safe skillet, toss with olive oil and garlic, and turn on your oven’s broiler setting. Broil for a minute or two, until crispy. Very important (!) — be sure to keep an eye on it the whole time. It will toast very quickly, and you do not want your breadcrumbs to burn!! Take out of the oven once toasted and crispy, and let cool.

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4. Once pasta water has come to a boil, remove lid, add your spaghetti, stir, and set your timer for 6 minutes. You can use this time to prepare the aglio e oglio sauce, or wait to do that afterwards. Once pasta has cooked through (be sure to test a strand to see if it’s al dente), ladle a cup or so of pasta water into a small bowl, then drain it and let it cool.

5. Prepare your aglio e oglio sauce by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl. Add 1/2 – a full cup of pasta water into the sauce, and pour over your pasta.

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6. Top with the breadcrumbs, a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast (for a nice, cheesy flavor), more salt and pepper, lemon zest (optional), and serve! Enjoy.


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