September 29, 2011

Spaghetti with Walnuts & Anchovies

Another month has come and gone. Fall has arrived. I keep waiting for my life to calm down so that I can have some Me time, but that has yet to happen. I have shiny new kitchen tools that are begging to be used - a madeleine pan purchased in France, a gorgeous green ceramic pie dish, and a bread knife that wants to cut into some crusty bread.

But alas, I am lacking time. I've been buying a basket of peaches every week (my attempt of clinging onto the last vestige of summer) and while I had big plans to turn them into something more magnificent, the most that I have done with them is cutting the peaches up and putting the pieces into my yoghurt. Still delicious though.

Even my trip to Halifax and Nova Scotia at the beginning of the month seems like ages ago. The trip can be summed up as to how my life is feeling at the moment (or the past several months): jam-packed and sleep-deprived. But it was beautiful (my first trip out to the East Coast!), the people were friendly and it was great to spend some time with friends I don't see very often.

Whenever I'm in a rush or in a rut as to what I should make for a meal, I often fall back to this recipe. I love pasta, especially ones with a good tomato meat sauce, but I've been learning to enjoy a lighter, simple pasta as well. This is easy to put together and a great excuse to use the overabundance of parsley growing in my garden after a month of neglect.

Spaghetti with Walnuts and Anchovies
Slightly adapted from Recipes for Health in the NYT

I enjoy my pastas with more, err, other stuff than actual pasta, so I've increased the amount of walnuts and parsley from the original recipe.

1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
3/4 pound whole wheat or regular spaghetti
1 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Begin heating a large pot of water over high heat. Meanwhile, lightly toast the walnuts in a pan over medium-high heat for just a few minutes until fragrant, stirring constantly. When the walnuts smell like they’re beginning to toast, remove them from the heat and set aside.

In a wide, heavy skillet or saucepan large enough to accommodate the cooked spaghetti, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until it begins to sizzle, and add the anchovies. Cook, mashing the anchovies with the back of your spoon or with a fork, for about 30 seconds until they begin to fall apart and melt into the oil. Add the walnuts, stir together for about a minute and remove from the heat.

When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the spaghetti. Cook al dente. When the pasta is almost done, add 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the pan with the walnuts and anchovies, and reheat over medium heat.

When the pasta is ready, drain and toss with the walnut and anchovy mixture. Add the parsley, adjust salt if necessary and add pepper. Sprinkle the parmesan on top and serve.


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