spaghetti with anchovies


Now here’s some real food: pasta tossed with anchovies, garlic, hot red pepper and breadcrumbs. Man, this stuff is good. I got the idea from one of John Thorne’s old newsletters that’s been floating around the kitchen. I suppose you might not like it if you don’t like anchovies, but why would you not like anchovies? Honestly.

This would, of course, be good with any number of variations, including adding cheese, but the breadcrumbs really do a great job of standing in for grated hard cheese, adding a charming nutty crunch. We ate the pasta with a few tender lamb rib chops, just salted and seared, and a bit of fresh spinach tossed in a hot wok. Leftovers reheated quite splendidly, tossed in a nonstick skillet, with an egg fried alongside. Yum.

Spaghetti with Anchovies

adapted from the Simple Cooking newsletter by John Thorne

Serves two.

  • 3 oil-packed anchovies, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 pound thin spaghetti

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

Combine the breadcrumbs with one tablespoon of the olive oil in a small skillet. Saute over low heat until the crumbs are crisp and golden. Set aside.

Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large skillet, add the anchovies and garlic and cook over medium heat, mushing up the anchovies as you cook. Add the parsley.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Before draining, scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add it to the pan of anchovy sauce. Then drain the pasta and toss it in the skillet with the sauce. Mix in the breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

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