This dish makes an excellent weeknight dinner. It's very fast, and the flavors are simple but satisfying. I like spinach fine, but generally prefer its flavor to be kept in the background. However, in this dish it really works well with the garlic and anchovies. I was glad I splurged for pine nuts--they really do add to the experience. The recipe calls for capelli, which as far as I could tell from the pictures is indistinguishable from spaghetti. I'll wait for an Italian to correct me...
Recipe adopted from Pasta: A cook's guide to the delicious world of pasta and noodles with 500 recipes
- 1 1/4 lbs fresh flat-leaf spinach or 3/4 lb frozen spinach
- 1 lb capelli d'angelo
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (~ 2 oz.) anchovy fillets, chopped
Cook the pasta in lightly salted water. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the pine nuts, and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside (if you don't have slotted spoon, a fork works in a pinch). Add the garlic to the pan and fry until golden. Add the anchovies, then the spinach, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is hot. Stir in the pine nuts. Drain the pasta and toss in a serving bowl with butter or olive oil. Top with the sauce, fork it through roughly and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: Not given
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 50 minutes
Substitutions: The proportions seemed a bit skewed in the original recipe, which called for 2 lbs of fresh spinach, 2 garlic cloves, and 6 anchovy fillets. 2 lbs appeared to be an enormous quantity of spinach--I could barely fit 1 1/4 pound in my pot--but having seen it cook down and tasted the final product, I'd say adding a bit more would have been fine. Maybe the anchovy fillets in Britain are bigger than ours, because 6 wouldn't have been nearly enough. Even though I used a whole can, which turned out to be 15 fillets, The Gastronomer wished that the pasta had been fishier.