Give spaghetti a crispy twist

Linda Gassenheimer
Tribune News Service (TNS)

Classic spaghetti with tomato sauce is a family favorite. Here it gets a crispy boost from toasted panko breadcrumbs and garlic. For this quick meal, I’ve added beef strips. Once the spaghetti is boiled, the rest of the meal is made in one pan.

I like to use panko breadcrumbs. They’re made from crustless white bread that is pro­cessed into flakes and then dried. They add a crisp texture.

Serve a washed, ready-to-eat salad on the side to complete the meal.

Helpful hints

  • 4 crushed garlic cloves can be used instead of minced garlic.
  • Any type of quick cooking beef can be used.
  • A few drops hot pepper sauce can be used instead of crushed red pepper.


  • Place water for pasta on to boil.
  • Saute panko breadcrumbs and garlic, set aside.
  • Using the same skillet, cook the beef and sauce.
  • Drain pasta and add to the skillet with the beef.

Shopping List

To buy: 1 box whole wheat spaghetti, 1 container panko breadcrumbs, 1 small bottle crushed red pepper, 3/4 pound grass-fed beef tenderloin, 1 jar minced garlic and 1 can reduced-sodium chopped tomatoes.

Staples: olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

Panko adds a crunchy bite to spaghetti.

Crispy Spaghetti With Beef Strips

  • 1/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided use
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 pound grass-fed beef tenderloin cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cup canned reduced-sodium chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large saucepan 3/4 filled with water on to boil for the pasta. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook 8 minutes. While spaghetti cooks, heat

2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon garlic. Saute 1 to 2 minutes until golden. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Using the same skillet, add the 1 remaining teaspoon oil, remaining 1 teaspoon minced garlic, crushed pepper and beef. Saute to brown beef on all sides, about 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Drain spaghetti and add to the skillet. Toss well with the meat and sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide between two dinner plates and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Yields 2 servings.

Per serving: 586 calories (29% from fat), 19.1 g fat (6 g saturated, 7.6 g monounsaturated), 84 mg cholesterol, 46.2 g protein, 58.6 g carbohydrates, 5 fiber, 224 mg sodium.

— Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer, the author of more than 30 cookbooks. Listen to Linda on and all major podcast sites. Email her at