Anchovy, Olive and Toasted Bread Spaghetti (Pangrattato)
- 3/4 lb (375 g) spaghetti
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) black and green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped dry toasted bread
- In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and oil lightly. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet with high edges or in the same pot, soften the garlic with the anchovies, pepper flakes and black pepper in half the oil. Crumble the anchovies by crushing them with the back of a spoon.
- Add the remaining oil, olives, and pasta and toss to coat the pasta. Adjust the seasoning and divide the pasta among four bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and toasted bread.
If desired, you can desalinate the anchovies under cold water.
Pasta topped with toasted bread (pangrattato, in Italian), a nice tip from the Puglia region along the Adriatic Sea, where less fortunate farmers replace cheese with breadcrumbs. To enhance the flavour, sauté the peppercorns and garlic in oil, but not for too long, because overheated garlic gets bitter.