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Anchovy Spaghetti

Craig's grandfather Mikey, aka Nicola Minicucci, was a first generation Italian immigrant. Until he died at the age of 90, he tended a one-acre vegetable garden that supplied most of the vegetables he cooked with and lots of fruit, too, including grapes with which he made wine. One of Craig's favorite memories is Mikey's Anchovy spaghetti. This is not for the faint of heart. You don't have to like anchovies to enjoy Pasta Putanesca. You have to like anchovies to like this one.


1-2 cans anchovies
2 oz. olive oil
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 T. tomato paste or 2-3 T. cut-up whole fresh tomato
Thick spaghetti noodles
2-3 oz. Parmesan cheese

It's easy to make, since the anchovies are cleaned and cooked. Cook the spaghetti, drain and put in a large bowl. Heat the anchovies, garlic and tomato paste in the oil, mix it up with the pasta and serve with the cheese on the side. If you use fresh tomato, cook it first until the watery juice is nearly gone, then add garlic, then anchovies.

Now, frankly, I am not such an anchovy fan that I am not satisfied with a taste of this dish about once every ten years. Here is the secret: if you can ever get your hands on fresh anchovies, do not fail to make spaghetti with them! Follow basically this recipe, but it's a completely different experience with fresh anchovies. It's more trouble, because you have to clean the fish. Since they are raw, you must cook them a little more carefully (putting them in the oil first). You will need a little salt, too, or something salty like olives or capers. But they are delicate and lovely little fish. I could eat fresh anchovy spaghetti every day of the week.

Read about how to clean and prepare Fresh Anchovies and Mackerel.


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