Sunday, August 2, 2009


The focus on this week's installment of Serious Eats Weekend Cook and Tell is anchovies.

I've cooked with nuoc mam for over 10 years, but never cooked with actual anchovies. We flipped through our cookbooks and searched online. Our copy of the Silver Spoon alone had 70 recipes. Nothing interested Bug, plus I was feeling cheap and didn't want to buy a ton of ingredients, so I didn't follow any recipe in particular.

All we purchased for this meal was a can of anchovies. The remaining ingredients were leftovers or items we always stock.

One of the dining rooms I frequent at work had beautiful, enormous red bell peppers on display in several large wooden crates at the made-to-order salad area, leftovers from the local farmer's market we hold on campus each week. I asked one of the chefs what they did with the displays. He informed me that they were used for our meals and could also be purchased, two for $1 (a little over 1 pound).

We also had some leftover zucchini and tomatoes from the previous Weekend Cook and Tell (Tomatoes) that needed to be used.

I thought we had olives, but we did not. I'm sure they'll surface tomorrow.

SE Pasta with Anchovies Capers
Anchovy concoction

1/2 lb linguine
1 T olive oil
5 anchovy filets ($1.50)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 zucchini, sliced ($0.44)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced ($0.25)
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced ($1.20)
black pepper
dried herbs (oregano, thyme, basil)
crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c water
1/4 c capers

1. Prepare linguine.
2. Fry the anchovies in olive oil on medium heat in a frying pan for a minute. Add garlic. Stir until lightly browned. The anchovies will have broken up.
3. Add zucchini, bell pepper, and tomatoes, black pepper, herbs, and crushed pepper. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add water. Cover and simmer for a few minutes.
4. Stir capers with vegetables for a minute. Turn off heat.
5. When linguine is al dente, drain water, then toss with vegetables.

We had a very filling lunch for $3.40. I packed up leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Next time, I'll try adding the tomatoes at the end with the capers (or switch), since the tomatoes broke apart more than I anticipated. Also, instead of water, using chicken stock may add a nice layer of flavor. Bug made a batch of stock the other day.

Bug didn't love or hate this dish. The flavors didn't pop for him. It needed a sharper (sour) flavor. Perhaps I'll try balsamic vinegar and kalamata olives. A quarter pound of ground sirloin would probably make the man happy too...

With the remaining anchovies, I plan on making Matt the Butcher's Pasta con Sarde later in the week. All we need is fennel and sardines. Can't wait! Although, I have a feeling I'll be eating this alone.

- Cassaendra

4 deep thoughts:

onepercent99 03 August, 2009 22:08  

Thanks for mentioning my site on here! I hope ya like the pasta con sarde,lemmee know,ok?And why would you be eating this alone?It's so delicious I think anyone would eat it.

SicklyBug and Cassaendra 04 August, 2009 21:28  

Hi Matt!

I wanted to do your recipe this week exactly as you have it on your site, but I can't find fennel *anywhere*. One market had anise that looked like someone used it to beat ppl with. :( The anticipation is killing me!

To answer your question, my husband isn't too wild on certain seafood dishes.

onepercent99 06 August, 2009 19:37  

Cassaendra,you can hardly tell theres seafood in this dish.My wife would have never known about the anchovies unless I told her!She loved it.

SicklyBug and Cassaendra 07 August, 2009 22:48  

Muahaha! That does it. When I make this, I won't tell him what's in it. Thanks! :)

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