Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Anchovies: puttanesca and anchoiade

Lots of people seem to dislike anchovies. It must be the strong, salty flavor. It is true that a little anchovy goes a very long way, but it cannot be beat for adding complex flavor to the right dish. When cooked, they virtually melt. Here are two of my favorite recipes: one is an Italian sauce for pasta and the other is a French amuse bouche, aka hors d'oeuvres. Both are dead easy to make.

Anchoiade from Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food

1 2oz. Tin of anchovies
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 t. white wine vinegar
10 thin slices of baguette

Rinse anchovies and pat them dry. Pound in a mortar or bowl with a pestal or the end of a rolling pin until they are a thick paste. Pound in garlic, Add the oil, gradually, pounding all the time. Stir in vineagar. Toast the bread on one side under the broiler. Remove from oven and spread anchoiade on the untoasted side. Place under the broiler again for 2 to 3 min. Serve immediately.

Puttanesca Sauce from The New Basics Cookbook

½ c. olive oil
1 can anchovy fillets, undrained
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can plum tomatoes drained
1 (2 ½ oz.) jar capers, drained
½ c. pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
black pepper to taste

  1. Place oil, anchovies, and garlic in a heavy saucepan. Mash thoroughly to form a paste.
  2. Add tomoatoes, capers, and olives. Stir, and heat to simmering over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serves 2; enough for 8 oz. of thin pasta; recipe can be made in larger batches.

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