This strongly flavoured pasta is only for anchovy lovers, and it’s one you should avoid before going out on a date (there’s a lot of garlic, too). The pungent little fish are front and centre, not hidden away and subtle as they are in a Caesar salad dressing or gremolata.
Time the cooking so the pasta and sauce are ready at the same time.
- 100 grams spaghetti
- 45ml extra-virgin olive oil, or more if needed
- 1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- 20 grams panko
- The finely grated zest of a quarter of a lemon
- A small handful of parsley, chopped
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a skillet placed over a medium flame. Add the garlic and cook until it takes on a very pale golden colour. Stir in the anchovy fillets and break them into smaller pieces with the spatula. Add the panko and cook until the breadcrumbs sizzle and turn a medium golden, stirring often. If the mixture seems too dry, stir in more olive oil. Add the red pepper flakes and stir constantly for about 30 seconds. Don’t cook them for too long, or they might burn. If the pasta isn’t ready, turn off the flame.
3. When the pasta is ready, ladle out about 50ml of the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta then immediately add it to the skillet. If the heat was off, turn on the flame to medium and stir the ingredients constantly while adding in a little of the cooking liquid to create a sauce that lightly coats the pasta. Stir in the lemon zest, parsley and some black pepper, then taste for seasoning; add salt, if needed (it probably won’t need any because of the anchovy). Serve immediately.
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