Rocket Quinoa Pasta with Pangrattato

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Quinoa Cookbook

The Quinoa Cookbook

By Penny Doyle

Published 2013

  • About

This dish has a double quinoa hit with the pangrattato topping, replacing more traditional breadcrumbs, and also in the quinoa pasta. Pangrattato are flavoured, crisp breadcrumbs, used in Italian food to add texture and taste to pasta dishes. You can make a larger batch of this fiery quinoa version for adding a kick to salads or pasta dishes.


  • 400 g/14 oz quinoa pasta
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 75 g/3 oz rocket (arugula), roughly chopped
  • 300 ml/½ pint/ cups crème fraîche
  • 125 g/ oz mozzarella balls
  • salt and ground black pepper

For the hot fennel pangrattato

  • 30 ml/2 tbsp chilli oil
  • 5 ml/1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ small dried chilli, crumbled
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 150 g/5 oz/scant 1 cup cooked white quinoa
  • salt and ground black pepper


  1. First prepare the pangrattato. Heat the chilli oil in a small pan and add the spices, pine nuts and quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-8 minutes until crisp and brown. Add salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta for about 15 minutes, or following the instructions on the packet, in a large pan of boiling water, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Meanwhile make the pasta sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan and add the garlic and rocket, cooking for 1-2 minutes until the rocket has wilted. Add the crème fraîche and heat until warmed through. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.
  4. Lightly drain the cooked pasta and return to the pan, add the mozzarella balls and then stir in the hot sauce; the mozzarella should melt slightly but stay intact. Divide the pasta between four warmed bowls.
  5. Sprinkle each serving with a teaspoon of pangrattato, serving the remainder in a small bowl at the table for people to help themselves.


  • Tone down the pangrattato by adding less chilli, and using vegetable oil rather than chilli oil.
  • You can toast the fennel seeds first, then crush them with a mortar and pestle for a stronger flavour if you wish.

Nutritional Information: Gluten free Energy 931kcal/3893kJ; Protein 22g; Carbohydrate 94g, of which sugars 3g; Fat 55g, of which saturates 27g; Cholesterol 102mg; Calcium 244mg; Fibre 3g; Sodium 141mg.