This simple, yet flavorful Pasta with Anchovies and Walnut Breadcrumbs is a dish that embodies ease, without compromising on taste. Anchovies melt down to provide a rich, umami flavor to pasta. Honestly, if don’t tell anyone there are anchovies in this pasta dish, I won’t. Believe me, they will never know! This classic, Italian pasta dish is perfectly suited for a quick, cozy family dinner, and is especially fitting for the Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration on Christmas Eve.
Ingredients and Substitutions for Pasta with Anchovies
With just a few simple ingredients, most of which you already have in your pantry and fridge, you can create this Easy Italian Anchovy Pasta recipe. Easily substitute the main ingredients with any of the following:
- Spaghetti: Substitute with linguine, fettuccine, or any other long pasta shape like angel hair pasta.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Use regular breadcrumbs or crushed crackers if panko breadcrumbs are unavailable.
- Walnuts: Replace with almonds, pecans, pignoli or hazelnuts, for a different nutty flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese: Use Grana Padano or Pecorino Romano, as alternatives to Parmesan cheese.
- Anchovies: Swap with anchovy paste or canned sardines for a similar umami depth.
- White Wine: Replace white wine with chicken or vegetable broth for a non-alcoholic alternative.
- Olive Oil: Use canola oil, sunflower oil, or melted butter as alternatives to olive oil.
How to Make Pasta with Anchovies and Walnut Breadcrumbs
- Begin by boiling a pot of water for the pasta. While the water heats, combine panko breadcrumbs and walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until they form a uniform consistency.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the breadcrumb and walnut mixture, toasting until golden brown. Be cautious not to burn it. Once golden, mix in the fresh parsley and set aside in a bowl.
- Once the water boils. Salt. Drop the pasta.
- In a deep sauté pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Add anchovies, breaking them apart as they cook to melt into the oil. Add minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Sauté for about three minutes.
- Pour in the white wine and cook for an additional minute. Add a ladle of pasta water to the pan. Reduce the heat and transfer the al dente pasta directly from the pot into the pan.
- Toss the pasta in the pan mixture, adding another ladle of pasta water and the Parmesan cheese. Toss thoroughly.
- Add the breadcrumb mixture and fresh parsley to the pasta. Toss again to combine all the flavors.
- Serve the pasta in a bowl or platter, drizzling with a touch of high-quality olive oil. Garnish with cracked black pepper, lemon zest, extra fresh parsley, and grated Parmesan cheese.
Tips on Making Pasta with Anchovies
- Use a food processor to blend panko breadcrumbs and walnuts for a consistent texture.
- Grate Parmesan cheese in advance to save time during cooking.
- Keep a close eye, stirring constantly, while toasting the breadcrumb and walnut mixture to avoid burning.
- Salt the boiling water generously before adding pasta.
- Cook pasta just until al dente. The pasta will continue cooking in the sauce.
- Break apart anchovy filets as they cook to melt and infuse their flavor into the oil.
- Sauté minced garlic until fragrant but not browned to prevent bitterness.
- Adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes according to desired spice level.
- Taste the dish before adding additional salt, as anchovies and Parmesan contribute saltiness.
- Reserve some pasta water for adjusting consistency and enhancing the sauce.
- Toss pasta gently but thoroughly in the pan mixture to coat it evenly.
- Drizzle a touch of high-quality olive oil just before serving for added richness.
- Garnish with lemon zest, fresh parsley, cracked black pepper, and extra Parmesan cheese for a flavorful presentation.
How to Serve and Store Anchovy Pasta
- Serve the Anchovy Walnut Breadcrumbs Pasta immediately after preparing for the best taste and texture.
- Plate the pasta in individual bowls or on a platter.
- Drizzle a final touch of high-quality olive oil over the plated pasta for added richness and flavor.
- Garnish with lemon zest, cracked black pepper, fresh parsley, and extra Parmesan cheese.
- Accompany with a side salad or crusty bread to compliment the flavors.
- Store any leftover Anchovy Walnut Breadcrumbs Pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
- Reheat the pasta gently on the stove with a splash of water or olive oil to retain moisture. Avoid overheating to prevent the dish from becoming dry.
- Do not freeze the pasta as the texture may become compromised upon thawing due to the breadcrumb topping and sauce.
More Quick Pasta Recipes to LovePrint
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