It was a hectic day and I couldn’t go shopping for dinner. Luckily, I had some oil-packed anchovies and fresh, well almost fresh, parsley in the fridge. The pantry yielded a half box of spaghetti, garlic, and olive oil.

What to make was obvious: another dish from my childhood that I actually hated then but love now: pasta acciughe, or spaghetti with anchovies.

Spaghetti with Anchovies (Serves 2)
4 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
5 or 6 oil-packed anchovies
2 Tbs fresh Italian parsley
8 oz spaghetti
Fresh black pepper

  1. While the water starts to boil for the pasta, put the olive oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in a pan and poach over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring and making sure the garlic takes on no color.
  2. Start cooking the pasta, according to package directions for al dente.
  3. Add the anchovies to the pan, smashing them with the back of a wooden spoon until they dissolve into the oil. Add 1 Tbs of the the parsley and cook for just a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. When the pasta is done, transfer it with tongs to the pan with the sauce. Add another tablespoon of parsley, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and toss to coat the pasta. If too dry, add a tablespoon or so of the pasta water.

Serve on warmed plates.

This dish is sometimes served with toasted breadcrumbs, which is fine if you want a heavier dish.

Another version of this dish can be found in Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, Calzone. Here a link to the recipe online.

Wine Paring: Lacryma Christi Rosso, Nero d’Avola, Syrah

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