Spaghetti with olives & anchovies

IMG_0206AThe authenticity of this dish is about your elbow grease to make the sauce from pestle and mortar, it reminds me about my Mother using pestle and mortar for special sauce making, and takes hours to get the fine consistency, but now with machinery it had become easy. The thing that I love to use authentic method simply because you will see the wonderful transformation and the beautiful scent while you are working on it, I call this the good relationship between the cook and the ingredients.

This look alike pesto sauce for is very easy and it is no cooking involved, taste like I had been transport to coasts of Italy because it content anchovy. Anchovy has a delicate and tasty flesh, when fresh, its back is a lovely blue-green colour and its sides silvery grey, but when it is not so fresh its back turns deep blue or black. You can eat it raw when is really fresh. Mine I get it out from a can, all the flavour has locked in with olive oil and lemon juice.

The best kind of pasta to go with this is spaghetti and made from spelt, the reason to use spelt spaghetti is the earthiness texture is perfect with the pungency of the olive-sharp anchovies. In fact, it has a smoky, subtle strength that doesn’t overwhelm less feisty sauces, indeed it is ancient wheat, either. Some regular wholegrain pastas work well, I had run out mine so I stick with regular spaghetti, it got to be spaghetti I insist because the sauce will cling to every strand of spaghetti.

You can easily serves two greedy people in this recipe here is what you need

  • 200g Spelt spaghetti or wholegrain pasta
  • salt for pasta water, to taste
  • 10 pitted green olives
  • 10 anchovy fillet (from can or jar), drained
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • small bunch of parsley
  • zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
  • 60ml olive oil
  • pepper (only if you like some extra heat)
  1. Put a pan of water onto boil for the pasta. When the pan comes to the boil, salt the water generously, or to taste, and add the pasta and cook until al denta.
  2. Make the sauce put the olives, anchovies, garlic, pine nut, parsley, lemon zest and juice and olive oil in a small bowl and blitz with the stick blender (mini food processor). Don’t worry about the odd unmashed pine nut or olive, they rather beautiful and appealing.
  3. After the pasta had been in their hot bath, just before you drain the pasta remove a cupful of the starchy cooking water and immediately add two tablespoons of it to the bowl of the sauce, then give it another brief blitz to combine those last ingredients.
  4. Tip the drained pasta back into its pan, then pour and scrape the sauce on top and toss to mix, adding more of the cooking liquid if you feel need the sauce to be loosen.
  5. Season to taste you may want pepper or more lemon juice, but I can’t see salt being necessary then toss again and turn out into a warm serving dish or divide between two plates or bowls.

I just adored the green of the parsley that gives fresh grassy taste, the lemon has contras with the anchovies otherwise it might be too salty. It looks healthy instantly! Why not give it a go!

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