Sunday, September 11, 2011

Trofie con le Acciughe

This post is coming later than I would have liked but it has been a busy week. I think I am FINALLY settled back in, living with my parents. Shortly after my return from Italy I really wanted to recreate a pasta dish I had in Venice, at a restaurant called Osteria alla Botte. It was linguinie with anchovies, and was amazing. The sauce was very "harsh" just like the waiter said, but I loved it. Most people may not share this love, but I love anchovies. I enjoyed every bite of that dinner. I knew during my trip I would come across dishes I would want to recreate. This was a perfect contender. It was amazing, but simple. I was fairly certain the sauce contained olive oil, onions, and anchovies. That is it. I will never know if I am correct or not. After attempting to recreate this dish, I wouldn't be surprised if I was right. I added a little healthy flare to the dish but it was still delicious. Not quite as rich as the Venician variety but I was okay with that. The recipe is very vague as it was over a week ago and I didn't really measure anything when I was cooking. But, I did use these two items in the dish, both brought back from Cinque Terre.

Trofie con le Acciughe
serves 3

~3 tbsp olive oil (be generous)
1/3 cup onion chopped into ~2 cm pieces
anchovies (according to your taste, I added maybe 1/4 of the jar)
2 cups finely chopped Kale
spinach trofie pasta

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. I used a bag of dried pasta I purchased in Cinque Terre. Any type of pasta would work here. I think linguini or rotini would be nice.
2. Head olive oil on medium and then add onions. Saute until about half cooked.
3. Add anchovies and stir while sauteing for ~5 minutes. Once the anchovies have disolved into the sauce that is forming, add the kale. Stir until kale is cooked and wilted.
4. Turn heat to low and add the pasta. Add enough so you reach the ratio of pasta to sauce you like.
5. Serve hot.

I absolutely loved this pasta dish, probably the best I have ever made. You definitely need to be generous with the oil, as I attempted making this sauce again with less, and it just wasn't as good. The oil helps the anchovies dissolve into the sauce and give it a nice even consistency (note that you can't see any anchovies in the picture). The sauce was also a little less 'anchovie-y' than the version I had in Italy. I could have gone for some more. My Dad said it was really good, and said to me afterwards, "I knew there was a reason we let you live here." Even my Mom who doesn't really care for anchovies liked it! There is a misconception that anchovies taste very fishy, but that is only if you pop a whole fillet in your mouth. When part of a dish such as this one, they really just add some salt and a unique flavour. You can add 1 or 10, and you will get more or less of that flavour. I encourage all of you anchovy haters out there who have never tried anchovies to give this recipe a shot, starting out with just one fillet. I have a feeling you will be adding more of them in no time. And if you are like me and love anchovies, you MUST try this recipe adding as many fillets as your heart desires.

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