Saturday, November 20, 2010
anchovy and spinach pasta with tomato
spaghetti, spinach and tomato in anchovy sauce
This was easy and delicious: angel hair pasta, tossed with spinach and tomatoes that had been sauteed in olive oil that I loaded up with garlic and lots and lots of anchovies. The spinach cooks quickly in the pan, and the tomatoes only break down the tiniest amount. In this dish, they aren't a sauce but a vegetable, just briefly cooked over high heat. The spaghetti is coated in savory olive oil, and the tomatoes are only one more component of the dish, rather than its defining element.
In general, I love pasta, and the simple combo of garlic, oil and anchovy makes a surprisingly rich and delicious sauce. I know it may seem unexpected but, as long as you don't use too too many anchovies that you use, this is surprisingly unfishy. Those little buggers just melt way into the hot oil. I used probably close to ten anchovies, but the garlic and spinach were still the predominant flavors somehow. When you cook the anchovy, it dissolves into the oil, leaving behind a nice savory umami flavor, but little of the pungent fishiness that so many people take issue with. Adding the tomatoes and spinach makes for a nice hearty dish with plenty of veggies. Sprinkle with a hefty amount of grated cheese and some fresh black pepper, and you are totally good to go.