Anchovies. It’s a fish that doesn’t garner much affection. I suspect most people just can’t handle the strong flavor and/or odors that arise from preserving and curing the fish. It’s the basis of fish sauce found in most Asian markets–which depending on your tastes, will either be fantastically savory or revoltingly pungent. It’s also used widely in other condiments such as Worcestershire sauce and Caesar dressing. In Filipino cuisine, it is used for some bagoong (shrimp or fish paste) recipes as well as prepared fried or dried. The saltier the better!
In Western preparations, I’ve mostly encountered anchovies used very sparingly as pizza topping or salad dressing. But I’ve found anchovies most irresistible in a Sicilian pasta recipe.
I was all set to boil some mozzarella gnocchi last night when I realized that the gooey cheese paste that resulted just wasn’t easily workable. So much for a low/no carb attempt! My fallback plan was a box of gluten free penne sitting in my pantry for such an emergency. Warning: lots of garlic ahead!
- 6oz (168g), dry weight penne rigate (Ronzoni Gluten Free brand)
- 3.50 oz, Marinated Anchovy fillets In Garlic (FruitsdeMer brand)
- 3 oz(s), Garlic, raw, minced or pressed
- 6 Tbsp, Salted Butter
- 2 tbsp, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp, Spices, garlic powder
- 1 dash, Spices, pepper, black
- 0.25 tsp, Spices, pepper, red or cayenne
Melt butter slowly over low heat in a chef pan or wok, taking care not burn the solids. Meanwhile, mince or press garlic and add to the melted butter, reserving some fresh garlic for topping. Add olive oil to mix, slowly cook the garlic for about 20 minutes until aromatic. Again, take care not to burn the garlic.
Add anchovies to garlic butter sauce and mash the fillets until it becomes a puree. Season with garlic powder, cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Continue to stir, taking care not to burn the sauce.
Meanwhile, cook penne pasta according to package instructions, in salted boiling water, about 9 minutes for al dente. Drain pasta and toss with anchovy sauce. Best garnished with fresh garlic, grated parmesan, chopped basil, and/or chopped parsley.
Yields about 17.5 oz of pasta, serves 2, but it’s soooo good you might not want to share!
MFP Recipe Calculator estimate per 8.75oz serving: