I discovered something interesting about pasta in Basilicata. Often, it is tossed with toasted breadcrumbs. Personally, I love breadcrumbs and crunchy textures, so I had to try a recipe reflecting this tradition. The recipe that I made was for pasta with anchovy and breadcrumbs. The entire meal took about 10 minutes to make and used only a few ingredients, most of which I had on hand. This was definitely a great weekday meal. Despite its lack of complexity, the pasta was packed with flavor. Those who are anchovy-phobes, don't freak out. I promise, the anchovies melt away when cooked, so they only act to improve the flavor of the dish. If you weren't told that the dish had anchovies in it, it would be tough to discern it on your own.
Pasta with Anchovy and Breadcrumbs
Adapted from ercps
1 pound spaghetti or bucatini
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 anchovy fillets, chopped fine
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente.
- In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and toast lightly. Set aside.
- In a skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and saute about 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the oil to cool a little. (If the heat is too hot, the anchovies will burn rather than melt away.) Add the anchovies and cook until the anchovies have melted into the sauce. You can use a fork to crush the anchovies if needed.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta. Toss with the breadcrumbs.
Ryan's Sue's rating of Pasta with Anchovy and Breadcrumb - 4.