Spaghetti Alla Carrettiera (Thin Spaghetti With Breadcrumbs)

"Apparently this dish is named in honour of a carters wife, who travelled everyday to Rome from the countryside with her donkey laden with fruit, vegetables and wine. I don't know how true that is, but it's a good simple dish made with humble ingredients, and it's delicious."
photo by CookingONTheSide photo by CookingONTheSide
photo by CookingONTheSide
photo by Karen Elizabeth photo by Karen Elizabeth
photo by Catnip46 photo by Catnip46
photo by LifeIsGood photo by LifeIsGood
photo by IngridH photo by IngridH
Ready In:




  • Cook the pasta according to instructions until al dente.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion, garlic and parsley until lightly coloured. Add the salt oregano and plenty of pepper.
  • At the same time, heat the remaining oil and butter in a small frying pan and sauté the breadcrumbs until golden.
  • Drain the pasta and pour over the parsley/oil sauce then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Engrossed
    Very good! I weighed the pasta (spaghetti rigati) and parsley...the parsley ended up being one bunch without stems. I made this as directed with double the garlic and 6 tbsp total olive oil. I tossed everything together. This tasted really good but was a bit Hubby added extra oil and parmesan to his serving. I served it with chicken strips tossed in Greek seasoning on top.
  2. Sweet Baboo
    This dish is just amazingly good, and one would never suspect it by just reading the ingredients. I can usually tell if a recipe will appeal to my family, but this one surpassed my expectations. I used high fiber spaghettini and twice the amount of rough torn breadcrumbs from a quality nine-grain loaf. My vegetarian daughter sprinkled some parmesan cheese on hers, and my carnivore husband topped his with spaghetti sauce...each declared their meal delicious. Interestingly, my husband asked if there were bacon bits in the sauce because he liked the crunchy bits....the toasted breadcrumbs....and it made me think that next time I might try frying the breadcrumbs in bacon fat if I have any.
  3. cathyinhawaii
    so good! had it as a side dish with broiled salmon and some greenbeans, so easy! thank you!
  4. 2Bleu
    I can't believe I forgot to add this one! This recipe made it into our Book #231450. 10/20/08 - Wow is this a great pasta dish! And because this dish is sooooo good, we did some research and found that it's traditionally a pasta dish served with a spicy tomato sauce, though there are also unusual variations on the theme and this is one of them,.. and a fantastic one at that! You are correct Noo, the recipe does take its name from the hand-drawn or mule-drawn "Carretti" (carts) that were used for bringing the wine and olive oil into Rome from the surrounding hills. This recipe is very unique indeed and gives it a wonderful buttery, crunchy texture to the spaghetti. We made as directed using regular spaghetti and also butter (and lots of it) along with the olive oil. We served it with Recipe #327369 and they complimented each other quite well being different types of breadcrumbs (the kiev' using panko). For this recipe, we did use seasoned breadcrumbs as that is all we buy. Thanks Noo, we will be making this VERY often. :)
  5. bluemoon downunder
    As is so often the case, I was initially drawn to this recipe by the photographs, really liked the sound of it on reading it through -and just LOVED the finished dish. I used fresh breadcrumbs, processed and seasoned with rosemary, sage and thyme, and we enjoyed it with **Mandy**'s Recipe #255142. I didn't weigh the parsley and undoubtedly used proportionally more, and I added probably a cupful of chopped baby spinach leaves. And I just couldn't help a tendency to always want to double the garlic, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. An excellent example of just how delicious a simple recipe made with top quality ingredients can be. Thanks for sharing another super recipe, Noo! I'll certainly be making this again - and I'm thinking that next time maybe I'll add some pinenuts.


  1. IngridH
    We really enjoyed this- and it was so simple to make! I made two small changes to the recipe. First, I replaced the parsley with green onion (no parsley on hand). Second, I added a few chili flakes and topped with parm just before serving. This is a beautiful dish that is easy enough for a weeknight, yet elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.


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