Clockwise from right: Linguine with anchovies, breadcrumbs and mint; asparagus in the style of Parma
The neat thing about Italian food [and I mean real Italian as opposed to Italian-American] is that it’s possible to eat well and cheap. Tonight’s dinner has a total food cost of about $5: olive oil, anchovies, breadcrumbs (from 2 thick slices sourdough bread), parsley, mint, asparagus, butter, Parmesan. Oh, and it took about 20 minutes to make.
Linguine with anchovies, breadcrumbs and mint
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 fat garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 anchovy fillets
kosher salt, to taste
freshly milled black pepper, to taste
Italian parsley, chopped
mint leaves, chopped
Cook linguine; drain.
As the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic, breadcrumbs and anchovies, stirring until the crumbs begin to change color. When the pasta is done, add to the pan along with 1 or 2 T. pasta cooking water. Toss over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Check seasoning. Stir in parsley and mint. Serve immediately.
Asparagus, in the style of Parma
Cook asparagus in 1″ simmering water in a saucepan for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and shock immediately in ice water to halt the cooking process. Place in a Pyrex or oven-proof baking dish. Dot with 1 T. unsalted butter cut into cubes. Scatter generously with freshly grated Parmesan chese, then bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven and serve immediately.