Spaghetti with fresh anchovies and artichokes
Perhaps the most famous of all Mediterranean fish, Fresh anchovies are however often snubbed in pasta recipes in favor of more fashionable seafood. Yet with nothing of the strong flavor of their salty, preserved siblings and at a fraction of the price of other fish, they make an exceptional, unique addition to a fish pasta dish, that evokes all the flavors of the Med.
How to do it:
Prepare the anchovies: clean and gut the anchovies and remove the backbone until each fish is butterflied into two fillets- arrange skin-side down on a large plate in a single layer. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and squeeze lemon juice over all of the fish (Keeping the lemon halves). Leave to stand in a cool place or in the fridge until needed. This will help the fish cure slightly and will help maintain their shape later in the sauce.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the lemon halves you’ve set aside, squeezing any remaining juice into the water. This will stop the prepared artichokes from discoloring. Prepare the artichokes to add to the bowl allowing one per person. Peel away the tough outer leaves from the artichokes and discard. Chop the stalk 5 cm from the base and with a paring knife cut around the stalk and base to remove the tougher outer layers. Slice the artichoke in half and remove the hairy ‘choke’. Place the cleaned artichoke heart in the acidulated water and repeat with the other artichokes.
Take each of the halves and finely slice them lengthways, returning the slices to the lemon water until all of them are ready. Add a slug of EVO to a wide frying pan and add a crushed garlic clove. Add a sprinkling of pine nuts and a pinch of salt. Strain the artichoke slices and add to the pan. Cover and cook on a low heat until just softened. Empty into a bowl.
Take the anchovies from the plate straining off the excess liquid. Put the empty pan back on the heat and add another drop of olive oil. Add the anchovies and toss over a high heat until just cooked through (under a minute) as they will continue to cook through with the heat of the pasta later. Put the artichokes back into the pan with the anchovies and check the seasoning.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the Spaghetti based on the portion sizes indicated on the pack and the number of people you’re cooking for. Cook for the time indicated on the pack stirring occasionally. Add the drained pasta to the pan and put back on the heat. Toss with the sauce, turning lightly to avoid breaking up the fish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
WHAT WE NEED
- Pasta di Liguria Spaghetti
- Fresh anchovies (If you can’t find fresh anchovies use another fresh fish – swordfish or fresh tuna cut into cubes is a good substitute allow a scant handful per person)
- Fresh globe artichokes
- Flat-leaf parsley
- EVO oil
- Pine nuts