Wednesday, March 26, 2008

like candy

Originally uploaded by Leviathor.
I’m going to ask you to trust me on this one.

Even though the following recipe contains an odd mashup of ingredients -- some of them unlikely (raisins), others seemingly vile (anchovies), in the end it’s all good.

I promise you.

Like candy.

The first time I made Vianna La Place’s Perciatelli with Strong Tastes (subbing in Orecchiette, I admit) my ex- (who wasn’t, yet) and I wolfed it down. Paused briefly. And then agreed that I should make another batch. Which we summarily wolfed down.

Well, maybe a little more slowly the second time.

It’s that easy to make, and it’s that amazing to eat.

Trust me.

Perciatellli ai Sapori Forti
serves 4 to 6

  • 1 lb perciatelli, broken into short lengths last night I used a curious, curled maccheroni for the first time. loved it.

  • 6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 anchovies, chopped to a paste, optional no. not optional. you want these anchovies. you *need* these anchovies.

  • 4 tbsp raisins, plumped in warm water

  • 6 tbs lightly toasted pine nuts

  • 16 pitted oil-cured black olives, cut into large pieces (last night I used kalamatas, but use your faves)

  • 6 tbs coarsely chopped Italian parsley (didn’t have any on hand last night. didn’t matter.)

  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Toasted coarse bread crumbs

Cook pasta in abundant salted boiling water. Drain when al dente and reserve a little of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile select a saute pan large enough to contain all the cooked pasta. Warm the olive oil and the optional anchovies.

Add the drained pasta and toss. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients, except the bread crumbs, over the pasta, and toss over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until everything is hot and fragrant.

Season with salt and pepper but remember that the olives are salty, as are the anchovies if you use them. (You’re using them. Let’s be sure we agree on this one point. There’s a curious alchemy that occurs when you saute these little creatures. I don’t understand it, but I’m pretty sure it’s what makes this dish what it is.)

Sprinkle the pasta with bread crumbs and toss again.

Serve immediately with a small bowl of bread crumbs at the table.

Faithfully adopted from Vianna La Place’s Verdura, a gift from my sister, aka she of the seasonal greeting cards, for which I will love her forever (among other reasons).

Updated: Forgot the raisins. & the bread crumbs. Added them in. Many thanks to anniemcq for her keen editorial eye.


anniemcq said...

All that salty goodness and no BACON?
D. C'mon.
Let's add some bacon!


But where are the raisins in the recipe?

suttonhoo said...

no. no bacon. ANCHOVIES.

and omgIdroppedtheraisins!

thanks, anniemcq -- correcting now.

narthex said...

Anchovies. I believe you, it's all about anchovies, just go to Italy or Greece and try to avoid them.


Will have to try this recipe...

anne bryant said...

Yum, sounds good! I love anchovies ever since I was a kid and my favorite special treat was a plate of anchovies and swiss cheese alternated and skewered on colored toothpicks.
This recipe is similar to one I do at least once a week from the Joy of Cooking, but it includes a can of tuna (no bread crumbs or raisins). It's soooo good!

Aric Mayer said...

Yay! This was my staple meal when I was a starving artist in grad school. It's fantastically tasty and easy on the pocket book too. I usually made it sans raisins, though. So good.

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