Wednesday February 17, 2010
spaghetti with white anchovies & breadcrumbs
Spaghetti with Anchovies & Breadcrumbs
Spaghetti con Acciughe e Mollica
- 1/2 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs (see below)
- 1lb spaghetti, reserve 1/4 cup of water from the spaghetti
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons of EVO
- 6 cloves chopped garlic
- 8 white anchovy filets
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
- 1/8 cup capers
- sea salt
- Garnish with parsley and breadcrumbs
- (option) Grated Sicilian pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese per plate
To prepare the toasted breadcrumbs it is preferable to make them from stale, dry bread. Pulse the breadcrumbs in a food processor until you have coarse crumbs. Its best not to use pre-packaged breadcrumbs--they are too fine for this purpose.
- Over medium heat, lightly coat a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and allow the pan to warm
- Add the breadcrumbs, stirring constantly to prevent the breadcrumbs from sticking or burning. Cooking until evenly toasted to a nice golden brown color
- Remove them from the pan setting aside 1/4 of the bread crumbs for garnish and the rest will be added to the sauce.
- Just before starting the Anchovy Sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to rapid boil. Add the spaghetti, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking. Cook per instructions, until tender to the bite, preferably al dente.
- When the spaghetti is done, drain and set aside.
- But first, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water - set aside. While the spaghetti is cooking, prepare the Anchovy sauce.
- Chopped the garlic. Chop the parsley. Rinse the capers - set all three aside
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add crushed garlic, and saute for a few minutes, stirring so they do not overcook.
- Add anchovies and crushed red pepper flakes, mashing the anchovies in the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Add capers and 1/8 cup of the pasta water to the pan and stir ingredients together. Remove from heat
- When the spaghetti is done and drained, return the anchovy sauce to the burner and over moderate heat, add the spaghetti to the Anchovy sauce coating all strands.
- Add breadcrumbs and parsley. Add more of the reserved pasta water if it seems too dry, tossing everything together.
Add a serving size portion of the spaghetti to each dish. Top with some of the reserved bread crumb and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Add cheese if using, and if you like to spice things up--a sprinkle of red hot pepper flakes. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.