Anchovy pasta: tips from two Italian grandmothers

Pastas Anchois

Notice to lovers of traditional cuisine! Pasta Grannies , the Youtube channel with 800,000 subscribers, has been filming Italian grandmothers in their kitchen for 7 years. In the program ? Recipes delicious homemade pasta and tricks top secret passed down from generation to generation.

Good news ! Vicky Bennison , the culinary journalist behind this gourmet initiative, has published her first cookbook entitled Pasta Grannies: making pasta by hand like Italian grannies , published by First. A compendium of the best dishes and advice she has received over the years.

To be tested urgently: tagliatelle in tomato sauce and anchovies from Pasqualina and Maria, twisted with crispy nut breadcrumbs.

Ingredients for 5 or 6 people

For the pasta:

550 g of fresh tagliatelle

For the sauce:

50 ml (3 tbsp.) Extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 whole dried chilli

1 C. chopped parsley

60 g anchovies (drained weight)

1 glass of white wine (about 125 ml)

400 g canned whole tomatoes, mashed with a spoon

500 g of passata (tomato puree)

25 g fresh basil leaves

1/2 c. teaspoon of salt (but taste first because anchovies can be very salty)

For the breadcrumbs:

1 to 2 tsp. tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

100 g breadcrumbs

1 garlic clove, minced (optional)

50 g finely chopped walnuts

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

The extra tip: “For the breadcrumbs, the ideal is to use country bread or stale sourdough that we mix in a blender to obtain a crumb that is not too fine in order to keep the texture. You can sprinkle this breadcrumbs on any pasta dish or gratin . It will keep for a week in an airtight container, so don't hesitate to do a little longer if you can. ”


Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the whole garlic cloves , chili , parsley and anchovies . Sauté for 5 minutes until the anchovies break down.

Drizzle with wine and let it evaporate. Pour in the canned tomatoes and the passata . Add the whole basil leaves. Taste and season if necessary. Leave to reduce for about 10 minutes.

Prepare the breadcrumbs . In a sauté pan over high heat, heat a drizzle of olive oil for a few minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and fry, stirring constantly, until crispy and golden. If you like garlic, add a minced clove when the breadcrumbs start to brown. Transfer to a deep plate . Once warm, stir in the walnuts and parsley.

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan, add a spoonful or two of salt. As soon as boiling resumes, pour in the pasta all at once, stir once and cook for a few minutes. Taste a paste to check doneness. Drain well.

Remove the garlic cloves, chili and basil leaves. In a large serving platter, layer: breadcrumbs, pasta and sauce and repeat if necessary. Enjoy immediately.

Pasta Grannies: Making Pasta by Hand Like Italian Grannies , Vicky Bennison, ed. Hardie Grant Books, € 29.95

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