Sunday, August 17, 2008
Italy to me, is one of those places that will never cease to be imaginatively romantic. I've never been there, but I do intend to at some point within the next five years. One of my 'must-see' spots will definitely be Sicily (and I would fly to Italy if only for that), for their spectacular seafood, the view of the coastline and of course the wines.
I love this dish because it's easy to make and combines the crunchiness of breadcrumbs with the sweetness of raisins and the oh-so-Sicilian taste of Italian anchovies, drizzled with high-grade olive oil and tossed with basil and grape tomatoes. Traditionally, seafood pasta is never served with cheese because it purportedly masks the flavour of the dish. You can grate a small dose of Pecorino-Romano over the dish, but I would suggest just leaving it plain to savour the full extent of the anchovies. Serve with a glass of cataratto bianco or a light pinot noir with some crusty bread, and you've got yourself a pretentious Italian dinner.
Sicilian Pasta with Anchovies
Serves 1 (300 cals per serving)
Prep time = 5 mins
Cook time = 10 mins
3 slices Italian anchovies in olive oil, chopped into 9 pieces.
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup raisins
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs fresh parsley
whole wheat pasta (linguine or spaghetti), about 3 oz.
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, stir in 1 tsp olive oil and toss, leaving it in the pasta pot still.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat on medium 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and stir in breadcrumbs. Gently heat the crumbs until it turns brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes.
Push the crumbs aside in the pan and add in the anchovies and garlic. Gently heat the anchovies until they start melting and garlic turns slightly golden. Turn the heat off. Stir in the basil and combine with the anchovies and breadcrumbs in the skillet until the basil wilts slightly.
Add in the grape tomatoes, raisin and pasta, toss to combine. Drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and chili flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (anchovies are quite salty, so be careful with the salt!) , toss well and top of with chopped parsley.