Pasta alla Siciliana

Pasta alla Siciliana

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

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 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
  • capers
  • red pepper flakes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Fill a large pot three quarters full with water and set over high heat.
  3. Peel and chop the garlic cloves.
  4. Cut the eggplant into cubes (leaving the skin on).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. When the water comes to a bowl, add the pasta to the pot with 1 tablespoon of salt.
  8. Mash the anchovies into a paste.
  9. Add the tomatoes (without draining the juices) and mix into the eggplant.
  10. Add the anchovies, 2 tablespoons of capers, olives, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the sauce.
  11. Reduce heat to medium for four to five minutes, and then to medium low until the pasta has finished cooking.
  12. 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).
  13. 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).
  14. 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.
  15. Serve piping hot with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.
  16. Enjoy!

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