Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cookish: What's for Dinner?

I have watched many episodes of Rachael Ray where she has used anchovies to flavor pasta and every time she says they just add a nutty, salty quality, and they don't taste fishy. I'll be honest--I didn't believe her, and I was afraid to try it out.

But, when I recently went to visit a friend, he made us pasta with anchovies, and WOW, it was delicious! So, when I came home I had to replicate it.

I was cooking just for myself, but the quantities below will feed at least 2, and it can easily be doubled. Serve with a salad and some crusty bread--yum!

Anchovy pasta

1/2 tin of anchovies, chopped
Olive Oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
sun-dried tomatoes and/or black olives, chopped
italian seasoning
salt & Pepper
1/3 box of multi-grain or whole wheat thin spaghetti
1 chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
lemon juice (optional)

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet--this is a large component of the sauce, so use some more than if you were just going to saute onions. Add the chopped anchovies and onions to the pan and caramelize the onions--this will take a while, so be patient. Put your water on to boil for the pasta, and in a separate skillet, add the chicken and season with salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. Go easy on the salt because the anchovies are pretty salty. (But don't skip salting the pasta water! Please tell me you always liberally salt your pasta water--it really does make a difference in flavor.) Once your onions have sauteed for a couple of minutes, add the carrots, garlic, italian seasoning, and pepper. Continue to saute until the onions are caramelized and carrots are tender. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and/or olives. When the pasta is done, the onions are caramellized, and the chicken is cooked, toss it all together, add parsely and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste for salt and add if needed. Enjoy! (A little bit of feta cheese might be tasty in this, too...)

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