Okay, so let me cut right to the chase by saying I am NOT an anchovy person. I am so much not an anchovy person that I make the Southern husband open the anchovy can so I don’t accidentally get any anchovy oil on my fingers.
I am so much not an anchovy person that when someone else even suggests getting anchovies on even a portion of a pizza that I will be sharing I give them a look that suggests that ordering anchovies on pizza might be the end of the civilized world as we know it.
What am I doing putting anchovies in perfectly good spaghetti then? I honestly don’t know, other than the fact that I, completely illogically in every way, actually LIKE a tiny bit of the anchovy taste in Caesar salad, and there was something about the idea of mixing that slight anchovy taste with olive oil and garlic and walnuts and parmesan cheese and parsley that made me throw caution to the wind and buy one of those little containers of anchovies. After all, it only called for using four of the teeny little anchovy strips in the entire recipe, and the recipe called for mashing them into the hot olive oil until they broke down and melted into the oil.
I can get into ANYTHING that melts into olive oil, so I mustered up my courage and went for it. (While still making the Southern husband open the can, just to be perfectly clear.) And I have to say, it was absolutely, perfectly, mesmerizingly delicious…one of those pasta dishes where you twirl the first bite around your fork, put it in your mouth, and then have to close your eyes at the sheer heaven of it all.
Anchovies, I owe you an apology. I am truly, deeply sorry from the bottom of my heart.
I still want my pizza plain though. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Spaghetti with Walnuts and Anchovies, from The New York Times