Ruth at "Once Upon A Feast" from Toronto (Canada) has decided to organize a weekly event that takes place every Friday. It's called "Presto Pasta Nights" (see infos and rules) and as you have maybe guessed, it's all about pasta!
For my second participation, I thought that it would be good to cook something from scrap, a dish that would cost practically nothing, but which would nonetheless be very luxurious taste-wise. So, I made an inventory of my cupboards and came up with this rather unusual recipe that I am very proud to present here!...
Pestos exist in a multitude of different variations, but I had never really seen anything like "Anchovy Pesto" before. It's quite unknown in our latitudes, unless you are of Italian origin. In fact, I was heavily influenced by a poor people's pasta dish ("Pasta Con Sarde") from Palermo in Sicily and which is made with chopped anchovies (that are plentiful in this region), pine nuts and raisins. As I wanted to use anchovies, but also wanted to eat pesto, it came to my mind that it could be possible to make a cross recipe between both specialities...
"Anchovy Pesto" might sound intimidating at first, because everybody thinks that it will be very fishy, but it has nothing unpleasant about it. All on the contrary!
This dish is generous, delightfully flavorful, delicate and absolutely nothing in it lets you think that it is cheap. The strong fish taste of anchovies is masked by the rafined flavor of the roasted nuts that add body as well as an exceptional roundness to the pasta...
Those "Pasta With Anchovy Pesto" are just simply exceptional and will surprise you positively without emptying your wallet!
~Pasta With Anchovy Pesto~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums
200g Dry tagliatelle
2 Tbs Sultanas, rehydrated in enough hot water to cover
For the pesto:
2 Tbs Cashew nuts, roasted
2 Tbs Pine nuts, roasted
1 Tin sardines, well drained
3 Cloves garlic
3 Tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
5 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tsp Red Tabasco sauce
Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste (optional)
1. In a mortar, pound together the nuts, sardines, garlic and cheese until you get a paste.
2. Add the olive oil, tabasco, pepper and salt to taste.
3. Pound again until well blended. Set aside.
4. Fill up a big saucepan with water and bring to the boil.
5. Add the tagliatelle and lower the heat.
6. Cook for about 6 minutes, uncovered or until the pasta are "al dente".
7. Strain the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
8. Over low heat, add the pesto to the cooking liquid and stir, then return the pasta to the pan.
9. Stir well so that the pasta are evenly coated.
10. Sprinkle with sultanas.
Instead of sultanas, you can use raisins or dried cranberries.
If you prefer, you can replace the Tabasco sauce by chilli flakes or any other chilli sauce of your choice.
For more flavor, a few basil leaves can be added to the paste in the mortar.
You could use other pasta such as "spaghetti", "fettuccine", "bucatini", "linguini" or green (spinach), red (tomato)....
Before serving, green peas and a teaspoon fennel seeds can also be added to this dish in order to give it a Sicilian touch.
Eat this dish with a light green salad (lettuce for example) .
If you desire, you can also sprinkle some extra Parmesan cheese over the pasta and/or grate some "Botarga" over this dish.
(Agrigento -Pic by Roberto Bellaccomo www.trekearth.com)