Friday, February 18, 2011

Simple Anchovy Pasta

This is the dish my father cooked a lot.  I guess he liked cooking this because it is so easy to cook and tasty.
All you have to chop is the garlic.  I remember him teaching me how to cook it before I left home.  It became my husband and daughter's favorite dish with some modifications, but I actually prefer the way my father cooked because it's so simple so you can taste anchovies.  Yes, I love anchovies.  I always have them in my pantry.

*Anchovy Pasta*
2 cloves garlic 
 2 Table spoon olive oil 
7-8 fillets anchovies
Salt and pepper to taste
Your choice of pasta 200g
Dried red chili pepper optional

< 1 > Start boiling the water for the pasta.
< 2 > Heat the oil on a large frying pan and cook the sliced garlic.
< 2 > When the garlic is golden, put the anchovies in.  They will break up to small pieces as they are cooked.
< 3 > If you are using a red chili pepper, please put it in the pan.
< 4 > After boiling the pasta al dente, sauté everything in the pan and put salt and pepper.

I used anchovy syrup that I recently bought instead of salt.  I was so excited to have it after ordering it on line.  But as soon as I received it, I started to suspect that it might be very similar to fish sauce from south Asia.  So I called my daughter in to the kitchen and we did the taste test.  The difference is significant.  The fish sauce is much much saltier.  But the undertone of the fish is very similar.  
Considering the fish sauce is 1/5 of the price of the anchovy syrup and 10 times more volume is packed in a bottle, and taste very strong... which means I can dilute it, I probably won't buy the anchovy syrup again.  Yet, it is nice to have this around to use as little essence.  It also looks really nice on the kitchen counter.  But my daughter makes me put it away because it reassemble to maple syrup too much and she is afraid to make mistake of eating it with her French toast.

When I cook anchovy pasta for my family, I chop one big vidalia onion and cook it with the garlic.  That's how J likes it.  He also puts a big scoop of sour cream at the table.  I feel like it is turning into a different dish, yet it tastes nice, too.
But I have to admit that I enjoyed this pasta tremendously in the afternoon as my father cooked it.  He didn't use the dried red pepper in it, but it was a nice touch.  I realized by writing the recipes on my blog that lots of the dishes that I loved as a child have become J and my daughter's favorite dishes...which is really nice.  We came from completely different back ground and now lots of the past is incorporated into their lives, too.

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