The ingredients were easy enough to find: cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme, basil, linguini...classic Italian fare. When it comes to buying tins of anchovies, it always brings me back to my Grandfather's kitchen. He always had some tins in his pantry and I could never understand the allure of these smelly, little fish in a can (this was "PC" mind you - pre-Caesar.) I usually love the flavor of anchovies in a dish as long as I can't see them and, in this recipe, the fillets are intact but smothered in bread crumbs and herbs. Would I like it? I was looking forward to finding out.
As it turns out, for me one anchovy would have been enough for the entire bowl of pasta! This recipe is definitely for bona fide anchovy lovers; however, if you don't care for them, just leave the anchovy oreganata off. The pasta with the roasted tomatoes and their caramelized tomato juices is perfectly delicious on its own, doused with a generous snowfall of Parmigiano-Reggiano. I might even tweak this recipe in the future and make the oreganata sans anchovies. There's nothing not to love about toasted bread crumbs!
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the other components of this dish, I'm sorry to say even Gwyneth couldn't get me to love anchovies. I sure won't be giving up Caesar salads anytime soon and I am looking forward to making this recipe again without those little suckers! The roasted tomatoes and other components of the dish were delicious. Are you a fan of anchovies? If so, what's your favorite recipe?
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes, divided
- 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs (preferably homemade)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- Large pinch dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 16 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Small handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn