I know that most American hate anchovies for some reason. But I don’t care. They make this pasta taste amazing, and no one would even notice they were there if I didn’t mention it.
So do what I do and don’t tell your guests what they are eating until after they take a bite and love what they are tasting.
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1 large eggplant
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 package bucatini (a thick, long spaghetti-like pasta that is hollow in the middle, hence the name, which means ‘little holes’) or 1 box rotini
- 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
- 6 anchovies
- 1 small can chopped olives
- red pepper flakes
- olive oil
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Fill a large pot three quarters full with water and set over high heat.
- Peel and chop the garlic cloves.
- Cut the eggplant into cubes (leaving the skin on).
- Add garlic to the pan with 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Cover the pan for a minute because the red pepper will emit a very spicy scent into the air.
- After a minute, at the eggplant cubes to the pan and saute over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes. The eggplant should soften and begin to brown.
- When the water comes to a bowl, add the pasta to the pot with 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Mash the anchovies into a paste.
- Add the tomatoes (without draining the juices) and mix into the eggplant.
- Add the anchovies, 2 tablespoons of capers, olives, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the sauce.
- Reduce heat to medium for four to five minutes, and then to medium low until the pasta has finished cooking.
- Keep an eye on the pasta and check a piece for firmness two minutes before the cooking time listed on the package has elapsed. The pasta should not be too “spaghetti”-like (i.e. soft and floppy).
- When the pasta is done cooking, put it in a strainer and run it under hot water for twenty seconds, while moving the pasta around (to remove the starch that has seeped out into the pasta water).
- Add the pasta to the pan with the sauce (or put in a serving bowl and cover with sauce) and mix thoroughly to coat the pasta.
- Serve piping hot with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.