Gift Guide 2018: A Bit Fishy

November 25, 2018

Okay, I’ll admit it: I am obsessed with these anchovies.  This year I’m giving them to everyone I know.

Because here’s the thing: anchovies are one of those great secret ingredients that make every savory dish taste better. 

I know lots of people dislike anchovies, but that’s only because their only experience of the tasty little fish are the laughably bad ones sold in most supermarkets.  Nettuno anchovies are different: they’re fished by hand in Cetara Italy, then packed in salt.  You have to remove the tail and the bones (with practice it takes about one second).  What you end up with are plump, firm little filets, with a fine fresh sweetness that sings of the sea. Put them on pizza, in pasta, stir them into onions and olive oil before adding spinach or kale.  Add them to Caesar salad.  Or just plop a filet onto a slice of buttered bread for a perfect snack.

The Gustiamo website offers this recipe for pasta with anchovies.  I’m including it to encourage you to look at their other impressive products; that tomato extract, for instance, is the best tomato paste I’ve encountered. If you’re so inclined, you might want to throw in a jar with the anchovies. Any cook would be pleased.

PASTA WITH ANCHOVIES AND WINE-SOAKED RAISINS

500 grams of bucatini
anchovies (washed and prepped)
2.5 handfuls of raisins 
2.5 handfuls of Italian pine nuts
About 1 teaspoon of tomato extract
olive oil
2.5 cloves of garlic
1.5 handfuls of toasted breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Red wine 

1. Soak the raisins in wine for about 10-30 minutes
2. Crush the garlic, but leave it whole, and sauté in extra virgin olive oil until garlic is golden
3. Remove the garlic and add the cleaned anchovies
4. Stir with a wooden spoon until the anchovies disintegrate, then add the tomato extract
5. Add a few spoons of pasta water to the tomato extract and stir
6. Remove the soaked raisins from the wine and add them to the sauce, along with the pine nuts
7. In a separate pan, add the breadcrumbs and put on low heat and stir with a wooden spoon. Heat until toasted and add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste
8. When the pasta is ready, stir it into the sauce and then add the breadcrumbs
9. When ready to serve, add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Serves 4

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