This is one of my childhood recipes. Every flavour and aroma of this dish reminds me of summer, seaside, blue sky and warm sun. My Granny was born in the South of Italy (Calabria) and lived there for about twenty years. After she married my Grandpa, she moved to the North of Italy (Valle d’Aosta), where winter was long and harsh. Memories and family traditions helped her start a new life. She kept all past stories and recipes for us and she taught us to cook because every lunch is a special occasion to celebrate family, love and food.
Serves 4 as a main course:
- 320 or 400 gr dried linguine or spaghetti (it depends how hungry you are!)
- Rock salt
- 1 clove of garlic (not peeled and crushed lightly with the side of a large knife)
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 12 anchovy fillets (if they are salt-preserved you need to rinse them)
- 10 Pachino tomatoes
- 6 basil leaves
Put a large pot of water to a boil, never salt the water until it boils!
Place a large pan over medium heat and add breadcrumbs, stirring frequently, until breadcrumbs are golden, then put in a bowl with oregano.
In the same pan, over low heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil and the garlic. When the garlic is golden you can take it off. Add the anchovy fillets and stir softly until they have melted.
In the meantime, when the water is boiling, add a handful of rock salt. When the water returns to a boil add the pasta. Save a cup of boiling water (from the pot) to use for “mantecare” the pasta when is ready. Remember: pasta cooking times can vary but a good pasta is “al dente”. When the pasta is cooked, drain it with a colander and add it to the pan. Stir frequently over medium heat, adding four tablespoons of boiling water and tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes then put out the fire, drizzle with a hint of extra-virgin olive oil and serve with toasted breadcrumbs and basil leaves on the top.