Pasta with Spicy Anchovy Sauce and Dill Breadcrumbs

Yesterday, we decided to try the cover recipe of the April 2008 Gourmet Magazine. It looked so delicious that I convinced myself to give anchovies another try. Big Mistake!!!! I have never liked them and have now confirmed that I never will. As a food enthusiast, I try to keep an open mind but there are two things that I absolutely cannot eat. The first is Tuna Noodle Casserole (hence the problem with this dish) and peaches or anything peach flavored. Still, the process of cooking is always a pleasure even if the end result is,shall we say, disappointing.

My issues weren't with the recipe itself. I simply don't have a taste for anchovies. The recipe was easy to follow and for those that enjoy them, it would make an excellent dish. It was like a simplified Tuna Casserole and really would fit into the "comfort food" niche. One of the things that I loved about it was the dilled breadcrumbs. They looked gorgeous and had a toasty flavor that was only enhanced by the dill. I think I'll work them into some other dishes so the experience was not a total loss. Mike,however, liked the dish but felt that it needed a little garlic. Well, we'll share the recipe and let you decide for yourselves.

Pasta with Spicy Anchovy Sauce and Dill Breadcrumbs (serves 6)

3/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 C. fresh bread crumbs (preferably from a baguette)

1/4 C. chopped dill

1 lb. red onions,thinly sliced (3 cups)

1 2oz. can flat anchovy fillets, drained and chopped

1 lb. bucatini or perciatelli pasta

1/2 t. dried hot red-pepper flakes

* Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmer,then cook bread crumbs,stirring constantly,until deep golden and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.

* Transfer bread crumbs to a bowl and toss with dill and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

* Wipe out skillet, then cook onions with 1/4 teaspoon salt in remaining 1/2 cup oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until very soft, 12-15 minutes. Add anchovies and cook, mashing anchovies into onions until dissolved.

* Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain pasta

* Stir red-pepper flakes and reserved water into anchovy sauce, then add pasta and toss to combine. Add about 1/2 of the bread crumbs and toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with remaining bread crumbs. (I think a nice garnish of dill would be pretty for presentation)

Note: The ingredient list is exact to the original recipe. The only thing that I changed in the instructions is that I did not describe to process of cooking the pasta. I'm assuming that everyone knows how to make pasta al dente.

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I LOVE anchovies! In fact I just made a great pasta with them the other night...which of course you would not like! LOL! ;)
But it is great that you gave them a second try. That is what I always say - I will always try something twice.

But I know how you feel, I absolutely do not like apples r anything with apples, except hard cider but that is a different story!

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