Hold it right there! Before you run away at the word “anchovy”, hear me out!
Did you know that anchovies kind of dissolve into oil, imparting in said oil a wonderfully flavorful and unusual salty delightful bite that cannot be easily replicated? And it’s nearly impossible to tell the source of said delightful bite. Or to sense anything fishy going on … this anchovy bread crumb pasta is just mysteriously flavorful and amazing!
In fact, it’s quite easy to trick people who think they despise anchovies into eating hordes of anchovies in just this manner and LOVING them. (And I did it. Preston is living proof.)
I challenge you to find anyone who would be able to tell that anchovies are anywhere near this dish. Yourself included.
AND if you’re particularly scared and I haven’t convinced you yet, you CAN replicate the wonderful taste and reduce the anchovy scare by simply using anchovy paste, which ensures that they will be completely and utterly melted and you never have to even look at something that resembles a teeny fish.
Seriously though, guys. This stuff is good. It’s just loaded with flavor in a crazy simple few-ingredient pasta dish. You can pair it with almost anything, a good little protein source and a pile of veggies or a salad and you’re all set.
PLUS it’s actually a fairly healthy meal! (Especially for a meal that is pasta covered in bread 😉 ) Anchovies are actually packed with healthy vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and tons of protein! Plus we’re using whole wheat or brown rice pasta, just a touch of olive oil, and not much else. Oh yeah, except covering our pasta in bread….. but still.
I served this with some super easy tilapia poached in an herby veggie broth and a little salad to keep things on the light side, so I’m not worried about some bread crumbs in my pasta 😉
- 1/2 lb whole wheat or brown rice spaghetti
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 tin anchovies (or 3 T anchovy paste)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 C Italian seasoned bread crumbs (or garlic + herb, if available)
- 1 C kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/2 C basil, thinly sliced or shredded
- Boil water for pasta and cook according to package.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the anchovies or anchovy paste and break the anchovies apart; cook until the anchovies are melted. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the bread crumbs and mix evenly.
- Add pasta when it has finished cooking. Don't drain it perfectly because you want some of the pasta water to help form the sauce and get the breadcrumbs to stick to the pasta.
- Toss in olives and basil.
Ummmm, did you READ that recipe? I know I’m asking you to try anchovies, but did you see how quick and simple this recipe is? In my entirely biased opinion, I think it’s totally worth a try….
Are you afraid of anchovies? Any anchovy fans out there??