Tomato dill pappardelle with caraway bread crumbs

This is a riff on a classic tomato sauce, but with the herby-zestiness of dill, and with some fancy home-made bread crumbs (which are very much worth the effort). Adapted from Baco.


For the sauce

  • 1 T olive oil/
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 t chili flakes
  • 1/4 c dry white wine
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 t sherry vinegar
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 3-4 T dill, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh pappardelle pasta
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish
  • salt

For the bread crumbs

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 t caraway seeds
  • 8 oz country-loaf style white bread, torn into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper


To make the bread crumbs

  1. Heat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Heat butter, oil, thyme, garlic, and caraway seeds in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  3. When the butter begins to foam, add the bread and toast, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Transfer the contents of the frying pan to a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, and sprinkle with cheese, a large pinch of salt, and fresh pepper.
  5. Bake until crunchy throughout and gold brown, about 15 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and stir the croutons about halfway through. (Note: You want to make sure the bread is completely dried out.)
  6. Remove from the oven, remove springs of thyme, and cool completely.
  7. When cool, pulse breadcrumbs in a food processor 10-12 times, until coarsely ground.

To make the pasta and sauce

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and chili flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add wine, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the alcohol smell has burned off.
  4. Add tomatoes, sherry vinegar, and a large pinch of salt.
  5. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, 12-15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent browning/sticking.
  6. When you are happy with the consistency of the sauce, remove from heat and stir in the basil and dill.
  7. As the sauce is finishing up, cook the pappardelle in the pot of boiling water until it is al dente, about 2-3 minutes (refer to the package’s instructions.)
  8. Drain the pasta and toss it with a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
  9. To serve, divide the pasta onto each plate and top with a desired amount of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese, and a twist of black pepper.

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