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Pasta All’Amalfitana (Pasta with Walnuts and Anchovies)

This dish is proof that the simplest of ingredients can absolutely make the most delicious dishes. It's an uncomplicated dish with only 4 main ingredients.

Now, let's talk anchovies for a second. If you've ever had a Caesar salad, you've had anchovies. The anchovies in this dish lay a beautiful background of umami flavor -- like miso adds to soup or mushrooms add to a ragù. I promise you, they don't add a fishy taste at all.

This comes together in about 15 minutes, which, I think, makes it the fastest dinner on the site.

Recipe very gently adapted from Simple, Diana Henry

Pasta All'Amalfitana (Pasta with Walnuts and Anchovies)

Print Grocery List Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package of your favorite pasta -- I'd recommend linguine, spaghetti, orecchiette, or fusilli
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 8 high quality anchovies, finely chopped OR 1 1/2 tablespoons anchovy paste
  • Squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

1

Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring it to boil.

2

While you wait for it to boil, assemble the ingredients for the sauce: olive oil, garlic, chili pepper, walnuts, anchovies (or paste) and lemon juice.

3

When the water boils, generously salt and add the pasta.

4

Cook pasta according to package directions, minus 3 minutes for perfect al dente pasta.

5

When the pasta has five minutes left before it finishes cooking, start the sauce.

6

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

7

Add the garlic, chili flakes and walnuts and toast for about 3-5 minutes. Adjust the heat and lower it to prevent the garlic from browning.

8

Add the anchovies (or paste).

9

If using anchovies, press them down into the sauce with the back of a wooden spoon. They will melt into the sauce, so keep pressing until they are fully incorporated.

10

When the pasta is finished cooking BEFORE DRAINING, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water into a glass measuring cup.

11

Stir the pasta water into the sauce. The starch in the water will help the sauce adher to the pasta, so don't forget this step.

12

You can also use tongs to transfer pasta straight from the pot directly to the sauté pan. There should be enough water on the pasta to help the sauce adher, but save some of the pasta water in case you need to add a bit more.

13

Using tongs, toss the pasta so it becomes coated in the sauce. The pasta should become lovely and glossy.

14

Add the lemon juice, and toss a few more times over low heat.

15

Serve garnished with some parsley, and with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

16

You can also drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top because, well, why not?

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