Pasta with toasted bread crumbs and anchovies is a very ancient recipe from southern Italy, perfect as "spaghetti di mezzanotte" [midnight spaghetti] because it is ready in 15 minutes and so tasteful you will be surprised. There is no tomato sauce in this recipe but sometimes i add few cherry tomatoes, and also olives and capers if i want a richer recipe.
Ingredients for 150 grams of spaghetti:
- Spaghetti - 150 grams [about 5 ounces]
- 2 Anchovies fillets
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 spring onion
- pinch of hot chili flakes [i prefer the mild Kashmiri chilies in small pieces]
- 3 spoons of breadcrumbs [or even more] with a pinch of sugar
- 3 spoons Extra virgin olive oil
- Fill a large pan with water [one liter for each 100 grams of spaghetti], and put on fire.
- While waiting for the water to get hot, warm a non-stick pan and roast the breadcrumbs until golden brown. Keep stirring to avoid any burning and at the end add very little oil, just few drops, and a pinch of sugar. Do not leave it in the hot pan because it will go on browning and it will burn. You can add a pinch of chili powder while roasting the breadcrumbs if you like it hot.
- Warm the oil in a large frying pan and brown, but not burn, the chopped spring onions, crushed garlic, chili flakes and anchovies. Press the anchovies with a spatula to help them breaking up and go on cooking on low fire until the anchovies are melted.
- When the water for the pasta start boiling add the salt and you will see lots of bubbles coming up, that's the exact time to add pasta to the boiling water.
- Cook according to the time printed on the packet but start testing it a couple of minutes before the recommended time so that you check when they are ready "al dente", usually before the suggested time.
- Toss the hot and dripping spaghetti with the anchovies sauce and serve with the breadcrumbs on top.