I have skimmed over this recipe in several guises for years before being ‘persuaded’ by the pneumatic Nigella that it really is worth a try. The big girl was right – this simple dish now occupies a ‘family favourite’ listing chez nous. Please, even of the inclusion of anchovies doesn’t appeal, trust me – the taste is truly wonderful – quite earthy and soothing and (for our guests) sometimes hard to pin down. Our 10 year old daughter even licks the plate clean of any remaining sauce!
OK – here’s my method:
Decide on your paste – we prefer spaghetti. Put large pan on to boil as per usual (no oil please, but plenty of water). Now, get cracking with the sauce
Finely dice (or blitz) a large onion.
Stew this in a heavy saucepan with a GOOD glugging of olive oil, black pepper (no salt) until it starts to melt – at which point throw in crushed garlic and a crumbled dried red chilli or two (your preference heat-wise). Add the contents of a small tin of anchovies (reserving the oil). They will quickly dissolve in the onion mush.
Add double cream until you have a suitably smooth and rich-looking coating sauce. The idea now is to drain the pasta after 10 – 11 mins cooking (dried italian pasta) and pour the sauce over the pasta while piping hot. Serve (presto pronto – geddit?) in warmed bowls – fresh parmesan and bread to accompany.(Tastes best eaten on your knees while watching Doctor Who with the family.)