Spaghetti with Anchovy and Asparagus

I watched quite a fair bit of Iain Hewitson’s ‘Huey’s Cooking Adventures’ show, hoping to become more familiar with the sort of things that mainstream Australians cook and eat. I also liked his sunny personality and unpretentious cooking style. Call it earthy and rustic, if you will. Thanks to his TV show, I became curious about anchovy. He used anchovy fillets quite a fair bit, especially in pasta dishes, always talking about how wonderful they are.

 The anchovy fillets I bought for this recipe were cured in oil. They tasted and smelled very similar to Asian/Chinese dried salted fish. Anchovy fillets contain reasonable amount of calcium because they are basically whole fish. However, as they are usually used in small amounts (and, should not be eaten in large amounts, anyway), they are not significant sources of nutrients other than sodium.

 The anchovy I used for this recipe was not overpowering. It worked very well with the garlic and asparagus. As usual, parmesan cheese, used in moderation, tied everything together and performed its MSG-like job quite well.

 Serves 2

150 g/5.3 oz spaghetti
1-2 tbsp oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 anchovy fillets
2 bunches of asparagus, trimmed & chopped
Grated parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta. Cook it for 2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time. Drain and reserve some of the pasta cooking water.

Place olive oil and garlic on a large, deep pan and heat them over medium heat until fragrant. Add the anchovy fillets and sautee for about 3 minutes while breaking them into small pieces. Add the asparagus and stir for another 5 minutes or so. Stir in the drained pasta and some of the cooking water. Cook for about 2 minutes. Serve warm with grated/shaved parmesan cheese.

 

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