Most of us think of bread crumbs as a coating for frying. But in Italian cooking, bread crumbs are also used as a main ingredient, as in this pasta dish. This recipe probably came about as a way to use up leftover stale bread—a humble inspiration for a fantastic dish. I love this dressing with orecchiette (“little ears”), but any small shape will do.
Bring a Large Pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the bread crumbs and ¼ teaspoon each of sea salt and pepper. Stirring constantly, cook the bread crumbs until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Working quickly, drain the pasta and stir it into the toasted bread-crumb mixture in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the prosciutto and Parmesan cheese. Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl, garnish with the parsley, and serve.