Recipe: Capellini with a Sauce of Anchovies, Capers and Fresh Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 or 3 fresh medium-size tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and halved
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, sliced (1/4 to 1/3 cup)
- 2 to 3 ounces anchovy fillets, chopped (1/4 to 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup tiny capers, drained
- 1 pound thin capellini, vermicelli, or other thin dried pasta
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup coarse dry bread crumbs, toasted in a dry skillet
1. In an 8-quart pot, combine 6 quarts water and the kosher salt; heat over high heat. Meanwhile, squeeze each tomato half over a sieve set in a bowl, forcing out the seeds and juice. Scrape the seeds against the sieve to extract any remaining juice. Dice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and put them in the bowl with the strained juice.
2. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the 1/3 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Scatter the garlic over the oil; cook about 1-1/2 minutes or until sizzling, shaking skillet often; push garlic to one side. Scatter anchovies on the clear side of the skillet; drop red pepper flakes into another open hot spot. Cook about 1 minute or until anchovies start sizzling and pepper flakes toast, then stir and shake everything together. Clear space; spread the capers in the skillet; cook about 1-1/2 minutes or until they are dry. Stir everything together.
3. Ladle 2 cups of boiling water from the pasta-cooking pot into the skillet. Stir up all the seasonings and bring to a boil. The sauce should fill the pan to a depth of nearly 1/4 inch (add more water if needed). Boil for a minute or so. Stir in tomato pieces and juice; bring to a boil. Continue boiling rapidly for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes; stir in the 2 tablespoons olive oil.
4. Meanwhile, gradually add the pasta to the boiling water. Stir; return to the boil. Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. When the pasta is almost done — still a little hard to the touch and bite — lift it out of the pot with tongs or a spider. Let excess water drip off, then drop the wet pasta into the simmering sauce. Ladle in another cup of the pasta-cooking water; raise the heat slightly and start tossing pasta and sauce together. Add the parsley; cook and toss for 2 to 3 minutes or until the pasta is perfectly al dente and coated with sauce. If the pasta appears dry, ladle in more of the hot pasta-cooking water. If the pasta appears soupy, cook rapidly to thicken the sauce. Serve immediately. Sprinkle bread crumbs over individual servings. Makes 6 servings.
Makes 6 servings