Posts Tagged ‘Anchovies’

Orecchiette with clams and broccoli

We just love recipes like these – tastes just like holidays in Italy. So simple but truly delicious.

Wine Suggestion: A favourite: the Sartarelli Verdicchio Classico Superiore “Tralivio”, was a great match for this combining freshness and vitality with a roundness, texture, saltiness and enough body to work with some of the strong components of this dish.

Orecchiette with clams & broccoli – serves 4

  • 1kg clams, washed
  • 300g broccoli
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 fresh hot red chilli, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 crumbled dried hot chilli or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 150ml white wine
  • 300g orecchiette

Cut the florets from the broccoli head and discard the stalks. Cut each floret in half lengthwise.

Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water until very tender, then drain.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Add half the garlic and fry until soft, then add the anchovies and dried chilli, Stir to melt the anchovies. Add the broccoli and cook for 10 minutes or until it is soft enough to break up into a sauce.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Add the fresh chilli, the rest of the garlic, and the parsley. Fry until just coloured. Add the clams and wine, then cover and cook over a high heat until the clams have opened, about 3 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid.

Remove the clams from their shells and add them to the broccoli sauce with some of their cooking water to thin the sauce a bit.

Cook the orecchiette in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce, adding some more liquid as needed.

Serve with your best olive oil.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)


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Sicilian fusilli with tomato, garlic & almond

We love the combination of anchovies and almonds in this pasta sauce – a Sicilian-style pesto. It also reinforces our desire to go to Sicily.

Wine Suggestion: A fresh and dry Italian white is a must for this dish with numerous choices working well. If you can find one match it with a white from the slopes of Mt Etna which will be minerally and savoury, or if not a dry Vermentino from the Tuscan coast. We drink a glass of the Morisfarms Vermentino which was both minerally and nutty with fresh citrus flavours. Morisfarms add 10% Viognier to this wine which gives it an added exotic lift and roundness to the wine. With the complex savoury notes of the dish the savoury and nutty wine worked a treat.

Sicilian pasta with tomatoes, garlic & almonds – serves 6

  • 500g fusilli lunghi (long spiral pasta) or other pasta – we used regular fusilli
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 25g golden sultanas
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 x 15ml tbsp capers, drained
  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • leaves from a small bunch of basil (about 20g) to serve

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the pack instructions.

Make the sauce as the pasta cooks by putting all the ingredients, except the basil, into a processor and blitzing until you have a textured sauce.

Drain the pasta, reserving a mugful of the cooking water and add 2 tbsp of the water to the processor as you pulse the sauce.

Tip the drained pasta into a warmed serving bowl. Pour over the sauce and toss to coat – add a bit more pasta cooking water if needed and scatter with basil leaves.

(Original recipe from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson, Chattos & Windus, 2012.)

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This pasta dish has really strong and delicious flavours. We don’t recommend trying it on your non-anchovy loving friends.

Ditaline rigati con acciughe e pomodori secchi – to serve 4

  • 6 anchovies in oil
  • 120g dried breadcrumbs*
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic oil**
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • 120 ml white wine
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 400g ditalini rigate 
  • 1 tbsp parsley and garlic ***
  • 60g pecorino cheese, grated

Drain the anchovies, and cut 3 of the fillets into long strips.

Toast the breadcrumbs in a dry pan over a medium heat, until they are a good dark golden brown but be careful that they don’t burn.

Heat the olive oil and garlic oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the 3 whole anchovy fillets and cook very gently, stirring, for a minute, to break them up and melt them a bit. Stir in the tomatoes, then add the wine and bubble up so it evaporates. Add the chilli flakes.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add plenty of salt, and put in the pasta. Cook for about a minute less than the advice on the pack, so that it is al dente. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water, add to the anchovy and tomato sauce and toss together, adding a spoon of the cooking water if needed to loosen. Add the parsley and garlic and toss again. Serve sprinkled with the toasted breadcrumbs, the cheese, and the strips of anchovy.

* You need to use good quality bread to make good breadcrumbs (so stay clear of the sliced white stuff). Cut the crusts off your stale bread, cut it into slices, put it on a baking tray and bake at 80ºC for an hour. When the bread has dried out, grate it (or use a food processor if you prefer) to make breadcrumbs. Keep in a sealed jar until you need them.

** To make garlic oil: mix 2 finely chopped garlic cloves with 50ml olive oil and leave for a day in the fridge before using. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

*** Use 1 garlic clove and about 4 handfuls of flat-leaf parsley. Crush the garlic with the flat of a kitchen knife to make a paste. Put the parsley on top and chop it finely.

Wine Suggestion: Try a textural southern white like Greco di Tufo or a Grillo from Sicily.

(Original recipe from Georgio Locatelli’s Made in Sicily, Fourth Estate, 2011.)

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Anchovies are like Marmite – you love them or hate them. We love them and to really make them sing this is what to do.

To serve 4:

Arrange 8 large good-quality pickled anchovy fillets on a nice plate. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and drizzle some olive oil over them. Grind over a good twist of black pepper, scatter over a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves then toss and serve.

Your anchovy-loving friends will thank you.

(Idea from Anchovies in Jamie Does…)

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