“We are eating warm bread slathered in cold butter and topped with salty anchovies, one of those three-ingredient Italian constructions- a shopping list more than a recipe- that can stop a conversation in its tracks.”
― Pasta, Pane, Vino: Deep Travels Through Italy’s Food Culture
It’s pot luck time over at the cooking club and I chose an easy quick pasta dish from Nigella Lawson that would be even better on a hot summer day when the gardens are bursting with big fat juicy tomatoes and fresh basil, but for now, the sweet grape and Campari tomatoes will have to do. With just a few other ingredients we had a very pleasant dinner along with a simple Bibb lettuce salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette from Jeffrey Zakarian. The sauce is made while you boil the water and cook the pasta…
“Sicilian Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic & Almonds” is not a saucy sauce but rather a “dressing” for the pasta and while you might pass on the recipe because you turn your nose up at the thought of an anchovy never mind 6 anchovies, but honestly that is not the taste that comes through…anchovies are a wonderful “meaty umami backbone to anything you want”, far from a big bite on a slice. I use anchovies a lot and no one ever notices, so give them a fair chance in one of your dishes, not just that well-known Caesar salad.
Every bite contains a bit of crunch from the almonds and the raisins a sweetness that works well with all of the other ingredients.
Slightly adapted, Nigella’s “Sicilian Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic & Almonds” serves 6