By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

Even before my husband started baking his own sourdough loaves, I was already the kind of cook who made crumbs out of stale bread heels.

But now that his once-in-a-while pursuit has become a weekly habit, we can eat our favorite pantry pasta with garlicky bread crumbs whenever we want. And we never tire of the way the crunchy, garlic- and anchovy-infused crumbs contrast with the springy, buttery pasta.

To make enough for four to six servings, start with 1 cup of crumbs. (I make mine by pushing the dried bread bits through the grating disk of the food processor, then blitzing with the metal blade for a few pulses.)

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high, adding just enough oil to coat the bottom in an even slick. Add 4 to 6 chopped anchovy fillets, and stir them until they dissolve, about 1 minute. Wear an apron, because they will splatter all over you. Add 4 to 6 minced or grated garlic cloves, and stir until you can smell them, about 30 seconds longer.

Now add your bread crumbs, either homemade or store-bought. (Panko is a good choice here.) If you like, you can also add a big pinch or two of red-pepper flakes and some grated lemon zest. Lower the heat to medium so the crumbs don’t burn, and toss them around in the pan until they turn one or two shades darker, about 5 minutes more. Scrape them onto a plate, and, after they are cool enough not to burn your tongue, taste and season generously with salt and pepper.