Cooking is the art of adjustment.
This week’s assignment from the cooking club, pasta from a chef that we have on the list, today Jacques Pepin…What a great lunch and pretty easy to toss together, but if you don’t eat anchovies I have no substitutes to suggest and there is a little bit of a spicy kick to this pasta dish. I did adapt the recipe for two of us which meant that I didn’t need the full amount of anchovies and added a good EVOO instead of the full amount of anchovy oil, I know so what was the point of making this dish at all? I like anchovies and felt that I could go lighter on the anchovy flavor which turned out to be just right for me and I don’t think that anyone would even guess that anchovies could have been the star of the dish. The recipe is easily halved, but I liked the full amount of beans for my scaled back amount…
Jacques’ Fettuccine à la Playa, slightly adapted
1 pound fettuccine
Two 2-ounce cans anchovy fillets in oil, (I only added 2 teaspoons of anchovy oil and 1/2 the can of anchovies for 1/4 pound of pasta)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup drained canned cannellini beans, no need to cut the amount of beans for less pasta
¾ cup coarsely chopped spicy green olives, (1/2 for less pasta)
2 tablespoons chopped pickled peperoncini
¼ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
Boil pasta of choice according to package directions or al dente. Cut the anchovies into ½-inch pieces and combine them with their oil in a large glass bowl. Mix in the garlic, beans, olives, peperoncini, tomatoes, parsley, and salt. Heat in a microwave oven for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until warm. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and add it to the ingredients in the bowl. Add the cheese and mix well. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl. Mix well and serve immediately on warmed plates, with more cheese, if desired.
Pépin, Jacques (2015-10-06). Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen (Kindle Locations 3453-3466). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.