Spaghetti with Anchovies and Arugula

09. August 2011 Fish, Pasta + Noodles + Rice 1

Do you ever crave salty food? Last weekend, when I opted to stay in and take cat naps in between eating, all I wanted was salty food. Throughout the Two Days of Nothing, I caught up with Words with Friends games I’ve neglected, organized my music files on Spotify (well, I tried to) and endlessly snacked on leftovers and cooked small easy dishes to fulfill my meal requirements.

This pasta dish is one of those easy ones. I used spaghetti because it’s all I had in my pantry, but I think bucatini works better for its thickness. I sure hope you keep jars of anchovy fillets in your kitchen–they’re very useful for salad dressings, sandwiches and pasta dishes like this one. You can go all fancy and get the Italian brands that cost more than $10 for a small jar, or find a small can of it for less than $3 at your local grocery store. I prefer the anchovy fillets in olive oil, but the ones in water will do if you just drain them before adding to the dish.

a fist of spaghetti or bucatini
4 cloves of garlic, minced
a small jar of anchovy fillets in olive oil
red pepper flakes
a handful of arugula

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with some salt.
2. While waiting for the pasta to cook al dente, heat up some oil in a deep skillet on the next burner. Sauté the garlic in medium heat and then add the anchovies. Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes. When the garlic sizzles and the anchovies break up, turn the heat down to low.
3. The pasta should be al dente at this point. Transfer the pasta to the skillet using tongs. Toss to combine the anchovy with the pasta. Drizzle in some of the pasta water to avoid drying it up. Add the arugula and the parsley and turn off the heat. Cook the greens in the remaining heat. Add salt if necessary.

Related post/s:
Make an awesome tuna sandwich with your leftover anchovy
I love the chewy anchovy side dish in New Malaysia restaurant

1 thought on “Spaghetti with Anchovies and Arugula”

  • 1
    famdoc on August 17, 2011

    I’ve made this twice since it appeared in Bittman’s column. I suggest being more generous with the arugula, as it tends to shrivel as it cooks while being tossed with the pasta and the water from the pasta. Otherwise, it has proven to be a family favorite. I also suggest looking at Bittman’s recent recipe for leek pesto. Easy to prepare, it is a pleasant alternative to basil pesto, which, for some, becomes tired by the end of the summer (although we’ll be pining for it in December).

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