I was on the phone with my Momma a few weeks ago, I was telling her about my “Feast of the Seven Fishes” blog and she mentioned that she would like to see a recipe for Pasta with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs. How could I say no? Click here for a direct link to all of my Feast of the Seven Fishes recipes. Honestly…it is so super simple, and can be prepared in the time it takes to boil the pasta! When I was back in Pennsylvania last week, per usual, I visited my favorite Italian store, Delallo. I gathered up a bunch of goodies in anticipation of making this. If you are near Jeanette, Pennsylvania…be sure to stop by and pay them a visit. You can also check their website for availability in your area. I was able to get everything there from the pasta, to the anchovies, and even the walnuts! You have to check out their nut section! Oh…and their olive bar…cheese shop…I could go on and on!
I also know what some of you might be thinking…I hate anchovies…no way I am making this…the best part about this recipe, is that it does NOT taste like anchovies…the anchovies just give it an amazing level of flavor and saltiness. I promise, if you prepare this for someone who does not like anchovies, they will never know they are in the dish, unless you tell them!
Start a pot of water boiling. As the the water is heating up, in a mini-chopper, add the breadcrumbs and walnuts. Pulse a few times. You want the nuts to be the same consistency as the bread crumbs. Heat up a tablespoon or two in a non-stick pan. Add the breadcrumb mixture and toast. Keep an eye on this, as they can easily burn. This should only take a few minutes…stir constantly. Reserve.
Drop pasta. Be sure to salt the water! In a deep pan, heat up two tablespoons of olive oil and the anchovies. Break apart the anchovies…they will start to “melt.” Add in the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and a dash or two of black pepper. Allow to cook for about three minutes.
Lower heat on pan. The pasta should be ready. Transfer the pasta directly from the pot to the pan. Do not drain or rinse. You will also be using a ladle or so full of the pasta water, so do not dump the pot. Coat the pasta with the pan mixture. Add in a ladle of the pasta water. Toss again. Allow to warm up just a minute. Throw in the breadcrumb mixture and fresh parsley. Toss again to coat. If the pasta seems a bit dry, add in a touch more pasta water. Slowly incorporate the Parmesan cheese.
Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle on a touch more olive oil and a few more red pepper flakes (optional). Garnish with more fresh parsley and lemon zest. Serve and ENJOY!!!