The last month, it's just been the stand-bys, though a few of the newer things in rotation. That's all well and good, but I was getting bored.
I have mentioned that as of late, when it comes to pasta, I haven't been thrilled with red sauces. They seem too heavy for me, so I've been doing a lot more oil based stuff. It's not even something like a heartburn issue - it just has lots its appeal.
Yet, Pasta With Anchovies, Garlic and Tomato solves this problem. The red sauce barely covers the pasta at all, but with garlic and anchovies (well, paste), it is right up my ally.
The instructions says it takes 25 minutes to make. This is a lie. I found it to be much less than this. It all comes together very quickly - at least if one doesn't have a sous chef.
- Salt, as needed ½ pound bucatini, spaghetti or linguine
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 to 8 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
- Large pinch of red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
- 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ small lemon, zested
- Handful of coarsely chopped parsley or basil leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
- Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)
Yeah, as if Parmesan is every optional!
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook, according to package directions, until about 2 minutes shy of al dente so the pasta can finish cooking in the sauce. It should still have a slight crunch in the center. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Honestly, the spaghetti I had was only 7-9 minutes. To take it to pre-al dente, I had to boil it for just a bit over 5. See why it doesn't take 25 to make this?
While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, combine the oil, garlic, anchovies (if using), red-pepper flakes and pinch of salt over low heat. Cook until garlic is opaque and a few of the slices are pale gold at the edges (don’t let the garlic turn brown), 2 to 5 minutes.
I did end up with a little more oil. And I used anchovy paste (1 tbs equals 2 filets). I mean, I never intend to pick up an actual anchovy. Ick. I also used 5 cloves of garlic. I'm never using the bare minimum.
Add tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about 1 minute longer.
I ended up using about 2 T instead of 1.5. I'm glad I did. Even with that extra, it doesn't look like a lot, but I'm glad that's where I left it.
Add the drained pasta, lemon zest and 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water to skillet.
Ok, I didn't save any pasta water. I also didn't drain the pasta. Taking it from boiling water to the pan, enough pasta water comes along wiht, so all was fine.
Stir until the pasta is al dente and well coated with sauce. Add more pasta water, if needed, until the sauce is glossy and the pasta cooked to taste. Cut the zested lemon half in half (so you’ll have a quarter of a lemon) and squeeze some juice into pasta. Stir in herbs and taste, adding more lemon juice and salt, if needed.
Cut remaining lemon into wedges and serve it alongside the pasta (I didn't), which should be garnished with more herbs and red-pepper flakes, a drizzle of oil and a generous sprinkle of cheese, if you like.
This was great. Not heavy. Not coated and dripping. The flavours were great. Yeah, I added a LOT of red pepper, but it was fine and the lemon I think helped balance that.
I'll definitely do this again.