Bobby Flay’s One Smart Trick for Making Any Pasta Recipe More Delicious

updated Jan 29, 2020
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You might love the creamy texture of a truffle gnocchi pasta dish, or the fragrant tomato and herb flavor in a marinara sauce, but there’s one secret ingredient that Bobby Flay uses to elevate all of his favorite pasta dishes — and you will also want to do this from now on. 

What’s the go-to tip? Flay adds in crunchy, crispy breadcrumbs to add more texture to whatever pasta dish he’s making. He revealed his smart tip while cooking up a spicy lemon spaghetti with lobster dish for the Food Network Kitchen app, during one of his live cooking classes. (The app allows chefs to demo live cooking classes for the public, where viewers can learn the chefs’ cooking hacks and tips and get some delicious new recipes.)

Flay says he does this a lot on his show, Beat Bobby Flay. He said to Food Network, “When I put the crunch in there, it’s a little extra thing that the judges like.” It’s the hidden ingredient that makes his dishes extraordinarily good.

Flay isn’t just using regular breadcrumbs you might find at the grocery store or just crumbling up some dry bread (please don’t do that). Instead, Flay mixes butter and olive oil in a skillet, adds chopped and smashed garlic, and also some kosher salt. Then, he adds panko-style breadcrumbs to the oil and toasts them in the skillet until they are a little golden brown . “You want them half and half toasted so that the toasted flavor of the breadcrumbs doesn’t take over,” he explained in the show. Add some lemon zest on top, and voilà! 

And that’s not it — he also does this breadcrumb trick with salads, too. Think of it as a new take on croutons, bacon bits, or roasted chickpeas. “If you’re making a salad and you toss toasted breadcrumbs into like a kale salad, it gives it that nice little crunch instead of those big croutons. It works really nicely,” he continued. We’re sold.