Did you know that anchovies are often used in Italian cuisine when cooking a sauce in order to naturally give a stronger and deeper savoury flavour to the whole dish?
It's not like the whole thing will smell like fish; anchovies easily dissolve and add a depth of flavour you wouldn't have otherwise.
So even if you don't really enjoy the taste of anchovies, there is no chance you'd know it has been there.
Moreover, this gimmick is a handy way to avoid using processed artificial food spices or enhancement such as bouillion cube, which are quite unhealthy.
This recipe uses a topping which is also nicknamed as “il parmigiano dei poveri” (the poor man's parmesan cheese”), as the fried bread crumbs were actually used as a cheaper (but not less delicious) alternative to parmesan cheese.
for the bread crumbs:
- some pulsed crustless bread (stale bread works even better)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- a little salt
for the spaghetti:
- 1/3cup olive oil
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 heaping Tablespoon capers, rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- lemon zest
- 8 oz. thin spaghetti
- Heat up some olive oil in a pan, and fry half a cup of bread crumbs until it gets crispy and gets browner, add salt
- Boil a large pot of water, and start cooking the spaghetti while preparing the sauce;
- In a large pan, heat olive oil and then add the anchovy fillets; slowly stir with a wooden spoon up to the point the anchovies melt into the oil;
- Continue stirring gently and add garlic, be careful not to burn it
- Add the capers, half the parsley, and simmer for one minute.
- Drain the spaghetti and pour it into the pan with the sauce, mix vigorously.
- Feel free to add a little pasta water if it looks a dry
- Finally add the bread crumbs, the lemon zest and the rest of the garlic while tossing again.
- Serve piping hot.