Friday, June 20, 2008

Spaghetti with Anchovies, Zucchini, Pine Nuts and Red Pepper Flakes



Do you ever have those days where you eat your lunch on the way to work? And you go to work at like 8:30? And you had breakfast already at like 7? Um, yeah, me neither. Today was definitely not like that...

I am not quite sure where the midieval-girl-will-eat-anything-not-affixed-to-surface hunger came from this morning, because we had a lovely dinner last night. Thursday nights seem to find me making pasta often, since it's so simple and comforting. A sign the weekend is almost there.

I ventured boldly into the world of tinned fish: anchovies. I was honestly surprised by what I found. They are boney little suckers! I reserved the oil, and then rinsed the fish thoroughly using a mesh strainer. I am not entirely sure if I should have tried to pick out all of the little splinter sized pieces of cartilage, but they seemed so thin, and I wanted to eat dinner before next week, so I said what the heck. We didn't notice them at all.

What do you do with your anchovies? I guess cartilage doesn't exactly melt, but they were undetectable. I will definitely cook with anchovies again-- they lent a lot of depth to the dish.

Spaghetti with Anchovies, Zucchini, Pine Nuts and Red Pepper Flakes

Ingredients:

6-7 anchovies, oil reserved, rinsed and picked over
1TB olive oil
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 c toasted pine nuts
2tsp lemon zest
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
handful of Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 lb spaghetti

Preparation:

Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and reserve 1c pasta water. Meanwhile, heat anchovy oil and olive oil in large skillet. Add anchovies, and saute over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute over medium-low heat for another 3 minutes. When garlic is soft, add zucchini to skillet, and combine ingredients with spoon. Saute over medium heat until zucchini softens and becomes translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Season to taste.

Take mixture off of heat. Add pine nuts, parsley, lemon zest and cooked pasta to mixture in skillet. Combine thoroughly. Add cooking water as needed, until desired consistency is reached. Serves 4.

3 comments:

another anchovy eater said...

I'm exactly like what you described. I just eat all day at my desk. I loved your description with your encounter with the anchovies. I must get a different kind, b/c I never noticed all of the extras. Anyway, your recipe sounds great. Has a really nice balance of flavors.

saltygirl said...

anchovy eating friend, what kind do you use now?? maybe I'm the one who should be trying something different.. the "extras" were pretty forgettable :). thanks for reading, and I'm glad you like the recipe.

blighter said...

I just don't know about anchovies. Maybe if you see them coming but so often the smaller fish catch me unawares.

I boycotted my local diner for two solid years because I twice bit into a delicious looking greek salad and was met with pungent fish taste. Anchovies? Sardines? These distinctions are beneath me.

Yes, yes. The second time I ordered the salad I really should have remembered the fish before biting into it, but hey, nobody's perfect.

Happily I have long since rescinded my boycott and found the diner to be otherwise quite fine. No more greek salads, though I have indulged in the spinach pie from time to time. No fish in that, you see.

Otherwise your recipe sounds scrumptious. Spaghettig, red pepper, pine nuts... these are a few of my favorite things.