Tuesday 14 April 2015

Pasta with anchovy and (lots) of garlic

Even my grandparents were taking leftovers home from Anthony’s. It’s the kind of Italian with the eternally grated Parmesan on the table next to the chilli flakes that could only have been chillies a very long time ago. “Cheap and cheery” the English say. Roll-out American-Italian.

The menus are laminated and everything has that ‘home-made red sauce’ taste. Except for a dish I have since developed cravings for – no room for marinara there. No room for anything, in fact, other than lots of garlic, olive oil and anchovies.

I always order (and make) it with linguini but my mom swears by angel hair. Since I've been making my own, or, more accurately, since I started adding lemon zest to anything I can, I've been adding lemon zest to lend the dish a little elegance (read: cut through some of the oil). But that’s ‘elegance’ in a narrow sense – in terms of stand-out, all encompassing elegance, this bowl of pasta has heaps of it in its simplest form.

  • 1 tin of anchovies packed in olive oil
  • 7-8 pieces of garlic
  • Pasta
  • Good extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan 
  • Salt and pepper

Bring a pan of well-salted water to the boil for your pasta. Heat a little oil in a heavy-based pan whilst you finely chop the garlic and anchovy fillets and then add to the oil. Take off heat once the garlic starts to brown.

Reserve a little of the pasta's cooking water and add a few tablespoons of this, along with the cooked pasta, to the pan with your garlic and anchovy. Divide between bowls and top with black pepper and parmesan. Try before you add any salt! 

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