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Linguine Aglio Olio with Anchovy

I suspect you have a pretty good idea what a plate of linguine looks like. No, no red sauce, just the pasta. In your mind’s eye throw on top some breadcrumbs and olive oil. Got the picture? Good, now I don’t feel bad about not having a picture for you!

This dish is basically known as peasant food because, well, to be blunt, it’s cheap. It’s made entirely from pantry staples and it comes together in the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta. Seriously, I can have dinner on the table start to finish in about 15 minutes with this dish and it’s so good it feels gourmet.

If you don’t like anchovies (or think you don’t because you are biased against the hairy little dudes) you can skip them or you can get over it which I frankly think you’ll be happier about in the end. The type and amount of anchovy in this recipe is so small that if you didn’t know it was in there you might not ever know it was in there. I mean really. The anchovy paste literally melts into the oil and gives the final dish just another layer of flavor. Under the garlic, olive oil, and red pepper you won’t even be able to pick out the anchovy. What you will be able to detect is a special richness and complexity of flavor that will make you think you’ve created something far superior to the sum of it’s parts. And, well, you will have.


Linguine Aglio Olio with Anchovy
  • 1/2 lb linguine pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flake
  • 2 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Put a pot of water on to boil.
  • In a large skillet add the olive oil, garlic, red pepper, anchovy paste, and salt.
  • Stir gently over a medium low heat taking care not to burn the garlic.
  • When the garlic is soft, lightly brown, and fragrant turn the heat to the lowest possible position and add in the breadcrumbs and stir to combine.
  • Cook the linguine ’til it’s al dente and then slowly add the pasta to the skillet reserving 3/4-1 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  • Toss the pasta in the sauce.
  • Slowly add in the cooking liquid starting with 3/4 of a cup and adding more a little at a time until the oil and breadcrumb mixture has become creamy in texture and is smooth.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese for sprinkling and a salad.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Pescatarian

Number of servings: 2