Mick Weisberg


12-16ounces of your favorite dried pasta, any compact shape
12-ounce tin anchovies packed in olive oil (rolled or filets, with or without capers)
3cloves garlic, crushed or sliced thin
2tablespoons olive oil

Boil water for pasta, adding salt and a few drops of oil. While cooking the pasta according to package instructions, place the anchovies and their packing oil in a stir-fry skillet or 12-inch sauté pan over low to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook slowly, breaking up the anchovies with a spatula to form a paste. After 5 to 6 minutes, when the anchovies have dissolved and the pasta is nearly done, add the garlic. Remove the pan from the heat when garlic is light brown and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

Check the pasta for doneness. Drain it without rinsing and add it to the pan containing the sauce. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately – no cheese or other ingredients are needed. A few tablespoons of this intense sauce are enough for a pound of pasta – an example of how the Italians use smaller quantities of pasta sauce than we Americans do.

This dish is especially popular with teenagers because its surface saltiness is a bit like flavored potato chips, but don’t tell them what’s in it until they’ve reached for seconds! If you’re squeamish about anchovies, remember that the same anchovies and garlic form the backbone of a Caesar salad. If you love Caesar salad, you’re almost certain to enjoy this bold weekday pasta dish that makes a hearty meal all by itself.

Recipe makes 3 to 4 servings.

Category: Pasta