When I first pored over the March edition of Bon Appétit, I dogeared “The Providers’ Pantry” article. It offered a few ideas for simple things to create from pantry staples when the fresh food in your fridge starts to dwindle over the week. One particular offering for simple and speedy pasta caught my eye when I saw capers referred to as “tiny explosions of salty goodness” (insert dirty joke). I finally decided to give this recipe a go this week. Even though I had plenty of fresh produce in my fridge, I was craving a bowl of salty pasta after a few days of green smoothies and kale quinoa salads. I jazzed it up a bit with some anchovy paste (mmm more salt) and fresh basil.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Capers, Anchovy and Breadcrumbs (serves 2)
- 4 oz whole wheat spaghetti
- 2 TB olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup capers
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 3-4 basil leaves, julienned
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan over a medium-high flame. Add garlic, shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add capers and anchovy paste and continue to sauté for another minute until anchovy paste has dissolved into the mix, then add breadcrumbs. Continue to sauté over medium-low heat until browned – about 5 minutes.
Add pasta to the breadcrumbs and toss until combined. Add cheese and basil and toss again. Serve immediately in shallow pasta bowls.
This satisfied all my cravings for salt and carbs, and I think this recipe is really easy to adjust based on what you have. If anchovy paste isn’t your thing, incorporate some chopped crispy bacon for that extra bit of salt. No fresh herbs? Try a nice salt-free Italian seasoning. And if you don’t have whole wheat spaghetti on hand just use whatever you’ve got. Make it your own!
Pair with that half bottle of wine that’s leftover in your fridge. In my case, it was a single vineyard St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc that my friend (who shall be known as Space Cadet from this point forth) left behind after my Sunday BBQ. Speaking of which, I just bought my first charcoal grill and ordered a pizza stone attachment at the advice of Space Cadet, who is teaching me the art of being a grillmaster. Stay tuned.