Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pasta with Anchovies, An Heirloom Recipe from a Sicilian Mamma

From the same great cucina that brought you Pasta con Sarde comes a Pasta with Anchovies that even won over my previous hater of salty little fish, husband Dan. He picks them off his Caesar salads and won't let the "hairy eyebrows" near his pizza pies, but my mom's friend's mom, Rose, introduced him to anchovy love with her simple recipe. I even got a few capers into his gullet with this magical mixture, so a big thank you to Rose for bringing our culinary predilections into greater alignment.

Cooking anchovies blunts the sharpness of their salty tang and melds them into a mellower paste that gives this simple, frugal pasta sauce a great flavor. It's not really fishy so much as pungent and garlicky.

Rose's Pasta with Anchovies

4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil (I used extra virgin)
Handful of capers, rinsed (about 2 Tbsp.)
2 (2 oz.) cans of anchovies with capers
1 lb. pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until al dente in boiling water, but be sure not to add salt to the cooking water. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic and saute until it softens, about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it to keep from burning. Add capers and anchovies and smash down with wooden spoon to make a paste. Cook a few minutes longer to let anchovies dissolve.

Toss pasta with anchovy sauce and serve topped with grated Parmesan.

Serves 6.

Now, to make Dan a fan of Pasta alla Puttanesca!

I discovered a new foodie event, Presto Pasta Nights, the invention of Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast, where pasta lovers converge on Friday nights to share their wonderful recipes for every kind of noodle, from elbow macaroni to tagliatelle to Thai rice noodles. I am submitting this delicious recipe for Presto Pasta Nights, where Ruth will provide a tasty and filling roundup after the January 8th, 2009 deadline.


What's Cookin Chicago said...

I don't cook with anchovies very often but I'll have to save this for when I pick some up!

Maria Verivaki said...

i dont cook much with anchoives either - a husband problem once again - but they go well in a simple pasta dish like puttanesca, one of our favorite sauces

Ivy said...

I love fresh anchovies which I marinate them and they are great. I've tried salted anchovies in pasta and they are great. I will be hosting PPN in two weeks, so hope you can participate then as well.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I am getting more and more fond of anchovies and love the flavor they add. This pasta looks and sounds delicious! Keep pushing those capers too! ;-)

NKP said...

I love salted little fish!
Sounds like a winner to me, I'll bring the wine. :)

Ruth Daniels said...

I love anchovies, but like you have a finicky least when it comes to fish. So thanks for sharing this great dish to sneak some by him.

And thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Hope to see you here often.