Donna Hay’s Silky Parmesan Pasta with crispy crumb

Love pasta? Then you’ll love this easy change to a simple family pasta dish from Donna Hay. The crispy crumb and chilli flakes can be simply altered to suit your family’s dietary needs.


  • 400g dried spaghetti
  • 1 cup (250ml) pure cream
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (80g) finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 4 cups (100g) wild leaf rocket (arugula), chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

Crispy crumb

  • 2 cups (140g) fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes


  1. To make the crispy crumb, preheat the oven to 180°c (350°f). Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs, oil and chilli flakes. Place on the prepared tray and bake for 5–8 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. Whisk the cream, yolk and parmesan together in a bowl to combine.
  5. Return the pan over low heat. Add the parmesan cream mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring gently with a spatula, until silky and slightly thickened but not scrambled. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the pasta and cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring, until it is coated in the sauce and heated through. Stir through the rocket and rind.
  7. Divide the pasta between serving bowls and sprinkle with the crispy crumb, the extra rocket and parmesan. Serves 4

If you need some help with this recipe, see Donna’s YouTube demo
Pre-order Donna’s new book, Even More Basic to Brilliance. RRP$55.00.
It’s due out in October 2023 and will be available in all good bookstores online.

Photography: Chris Court

Other great family favourites from Donna Hay:

Chicken noodle soup

Apple and Coconut Caramel Cobbler


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