Spaghetti with olive oil and anchovies

If you purchase good anchovies in a jar, you will have a very good pantry ingredient.  Lasts in your refrigerator for longer than you will remember.  With a jar in your refrigerator, you are not more than 20 minutes from eating a very delicious, deceptively simple bowl of pasta.  And before you read it and think: “meh,” I am here to attest that the sum turns out to be much greater than its parts.  The parts are: good olive oil, lots of garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes and if ya got ’em, walnuts.  And spaghetti or linguine.

Ingredients (for two people)  (Psst you will need to eat this with someone who already loves you, since you will both end up with garlic/anchovy breath.  Your cat will find you very interesting.)  Here goes:

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

good pinch red pepper flakes

3 anchovies, with their oil, from a jar

parsley, minced

walnuts, 1/3 c. toasted

Directions:

  1. Put up a large pot of water to boil for the spaghetti. When it comes to a boil, add a good amount of kosher salt.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and toast the walnuts for about 8 minutes, until they give off a nice aroma. Set aside to cool, and later break up into smaller pieces.
  3. Mince garlic.  Heat olive oil gently in small sauté pan, and add garlic and red pepper flakes. image
  4. Heat gently, stirring, adding anchovies.  Do not let garlic get too dark or burnt.  Add salt and pepper, walnuts and parsley.  Set aside.
  5. Cook spaghetti.  When almost done, warm olive oil mixture.
  6. Drain pasta, reserving a ladle or two of cooking water.
  7. Dump drained spaghetti into pan, turning off heat, and toss to coat.  You can add more olive oil if it seems to dry, or for fewer calories (though less flavor), you can add some of the reserved pasta water.

VARIATION:

Steam a good couple handfuls of spinach with salt.  Add to oil/walnut mixture (omit parsley) and stir around.

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