Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. I am going to have to update my tagline: “daily recipes…except when I have two sick kids.” I am also revising my Valentines Day plans for the same reason. Out with the heart-shaped foods and chocolate desserts. In with a dinner that takes 25 minutes to make but still says “I love you.”
This recipe is one of J’s favorites. It comes from one of our favorite Seattle restaurants, Anchovies and Olives, where it is “Bigoli with Garlic, Chili, and Anchovy.” If you want to make bigoli, more power to you. If you want a similar-shaped dry pasta, you can use bucatini. If you want the texture of a fresh pasta, which I do like with the crispy breadcrumbs, you could use any long noodle. If you just have a box of spaghetti in your cabinet, get it out, it will be great.
Pasta with Garlic, Anchovies, Chili and Breadcrumbs: Put a big pot of water on high heat, and add salt and 1 lb. pasta when it boils. In a separate small pan, make garlic-infused breadcrumbs by gently heating a couple Tbsp. olive oil with a few smashed cloves of garlic. Meanwhile, pulse and then grind a few slices of bread to crumbs in your food processor. Remove the golden cloves of garlic from the oil and enjoy them on chunk of bread while you continue cooking (you have a glass of wine, too, maybe?)–or share them with your Valentine. Toss the fresh breadcrumbs into the garlic oil and stir occasionally over low heat until they are golden and crisp. Season with salt and set aside. Once the breadcrumbs get started in the garlic oil, get another pan (this one big enough to hold the finished dish) on the stove. Heat 1/4 c. olive oil over medium-low heat with three sliced cloves of garlic, 1 tsp. chili flakes and 12 drained and chopped oil-packed anchovies. Stir occasionally until the garlic softens and the anchovies melt into the oil. When your pasta is nearly cooked to your liking, drain and add it to the anchovy sauce pan with 1/4 c. chopped parsley. Toss and continue cooking until pasta is perfectly cooked, tasting and adjusting with more oil or chili flakes if you like. Serve each bowl topped with a generous spoonful of breadcrumbs.
If you want to gild the lily, you can serve this dish (or your reheated leftovers) topped with a fried egg.