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Pasta with Fried Capers and Toasted Breadcrumbs

4 Servings

30 minutes

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Inspired by a recipe from “On Top of Spaghetti” by George Germon and Johanne Killeen, this vegetarian pasta dish features brined capers two ways: tossed with the pasta to offer sharp bursts of flavor and fried until crisp and sprinkled on top for textural contrast. Toasted panko breadcrumbs offer a touch of nutty flavor and additional crispness, while a generous amount of fresh herbs lend the dish bright flavor and color; we liked the combination of grassy parsley and slightly piney, subtly citrusy marjoram. If marjoram is not available, fresh oregano is a fine substitute, though its flavor is slightly more assertive and astringent.




Don't forget to pat the capers dry after draining. Removing excess water will help prevent splattering during frying. Don't use regular breadcrumbs in place of the panko; their texture is too fine and powdery to add crispness. When seasoning the dish at the end, don't add salt without first tasting the pasta, as the cooking water, capers and caper brine all add salinity.

30 minutes


  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 12

    ounces fettuccini or other long pasta


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Tom N.
November 21, 2022
quite delicious and nicely out of the ordinary
lovely rich flavor for a simple dish. Adding to the regulars!
Scott C.

Under marjoram it says "see note" but there's no note anywhere I can find. ??

Janelle C.

As stated in the recipe description, "If marjoram is not available, fresh oregano is a fine substitute, though its flavor is slightly more assertive and astringent."

The Milk Street Team

Astra F.

Liked this a lot. Left the garlic in. Used some olive oil I’d infused w thyme a few days earlier and toasted some ground black pepper before adding the noodles. Would make it just a bit saucier next time.