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Spaghetti with Anchovies and Dill Bread Crumbs

Spaghetti with Anchovies and Dill Bread Crumbs

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Serves 4 to 6

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 cups white onion, sliced
2 oz Nettuno anchovy filets (about 15), chopped
1/2 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes
1 lb Martelli spaghetti

Heat water to boil for the pasta.

In a wide shallow pan heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and toast until golden brown and crunchy, about five minutes. Transfer bread crumbs to a bowl and toss with fresh dill and season with salt and pepper.

Wipe out the pan and heat remaining 1/2 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add anchovies and red hot pepper flakes and mix to combine, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

When the pasta water is boiling, add 1 to 2 handfuls of coarse salt, stir to dissolve, and then add the spaghetti. When the pasta is al dente, discard the water (but reserve about 1/2 cup) and return the pasta to the pot with the 1/2 cup of water.

Pour the anchovy sauce over the spaghetti and add half the bread crumbs. Once plated, garnish the pasta with more bread crumbs, 1-2 anchovy filets (optional), and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

  1. George

    That looks great. I’m always on the lookout for more anchovy recipes. I use them in a sauce for Osso Bucco and on homemade pizza (at least on my half).

  2. jane

    Thanks, George! Sounds great, I love them on pizza too. I thought this was an intriguing recipe using anchovies, in last Sunday’s NY Times Magazine:

    Great South Bay Duck Ragù – Adapted from Dave Pasternack, Esca, New York City – Serves 4

    4 duck legs, trimmed
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    3 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into small dice
    2 medium-size carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
    1 medium-size red onion, peeled and cut into small dice
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    8 fillets of salted anchovy, rinsed, dried and minced
    6 juniper berries
    1½ cups dry red wine
    ½ cup red-wine vinegar
    3 tablespoons tomato paste
    2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
    1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    2 cups cooked polenta, for serving (optional).

    Preheat oven to 350. Trim excess skin from duck legs and discard.

    Heat a Dutch oven with a tightly fitting lid over medium heat. Add olive oil to the pot, and when it begins to shimmer, add the duck legs, skin side down. Cook until the skin is well browned and the fat has begun to render, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the legs over and brown the other sides, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove to a plate to rest.

    Add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic to the pot, and stir to combine. Cook until the onions have softened and have just started to color, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Clear a space in the center of the pot and add the anchovies, then swirl them in fat until they begin to dissolve. Stir to combine. Add juniper berries, wine, vinegar and duck legs, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, approximately 15 minutes.

    Add tomato paste and stir to combine, then enough chicken stock so that the combination takes on a sauce-like consistency and just covers the duck. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Put a lid onto the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 90 minutes, or until the legs are almost falling off the bone.

    Remove duck from pot and allow to cool slightly. Peel off skin, dice and reserve. Shred meat off bones and return to pot. Place pot on stove top over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add duck skin to taste, sage and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve over polenta.

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