Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weeknight Pasta w/ Simple Garlic & Oil Sauce

So after work I usually hit the gym and by the time I get home it is kind of late to be eating dinner- especially since the soon-to-be hubs has to wake up at 5am for work.  So this is a quick pantry made pasta dinner that you can either eat by itself or through in some chicken to round the mean out with some more protein.

This recipe is as easy as boiling water and heating up some garlic but with a couple extras thrown in- it was SUPER delicious- and when I say super- yea, I mean it. Super like Brendan had three servings. Yea, as I said, super delicious. But yet super simple! Impressive and delicious. Boom.

*Now, when you are reading the directions this ingredient might freak you out.  But stop being such a wussy! Have you ever even tried anchovies? (For all the people that said "yes, on a pizza"- you don't count because that is probably the worst way people know it and obviously get turned off by it.) So in a different question- have you ever cooked with anchovies? Believe me, I guarantee you, you will not even taste them.  It will not taste fishy.  When anchovies are heated, especially in oil they dissolve and disappear into the oil and just become a flavor- sort of like a salty nutty flavor.  It adds so much depth of flavor into this sauce.  You really don't want to skip it; it's the secret ingredient that makes it special, but still an easy weeknighter recipe.  I told Brendan they were in it and he said "ew"- then he had three servings.

But for all the haters and wussies out there- if you must substitute I guess you could use a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce (which anchovies are one of the ingredients in that sauce, so if you've used it before- you've had anchovies).


  • 1 lb of pasta of your choice (I chose whole wheat rotini)
  • about two cups of broccoli (I had some in the freezer)
  • 1/4 cup of oil (I used extra virgin, you could also use regular olive)
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 4 anchovy fillets*
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes (yes, this is a lot- if you want less spice start with a heavy tsp)
  • pinch of salt (bc anchovies and cheese will add salt)
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 3/4-1 cup of pasta water (so remember don't dump it before reserving a cup)
  • 1 cup of pecorino or parm, shredded or grated


  1. Boil water for the pasta.
  2. If you have frozen broccoli- defrost in the microwave. If fresh we will wait to blanch in pasta water at the end.
  3. Heat a sauce pot over medium low heat and add the oil, garlic and anchovies.  You can add the anchovies whole, they will eventually just dissolve into the hot oil.  Do not let this burn, just gently bubble and heat up for a couple minutes so the oil gets flavored.
  4. After the anchovies "disappear" and the garlic slightly golden.  Turn the heat to low and add the lemon juice and zest along with the red pepper flake, salt and pepper.
  5. Keep on low heat for flavors to marry for about 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile when water boils, salt the water and drop your pasta.  I semi-defrosted my frozen broccoli, so about 2 minutes before the pasta was done I added the broccoli to the boiling water.  If you are using fresh you would do the same- drop into boiling water just a couple minutes before the pasta is done.
  7. RESERVE your pasta water!  Add it to the sauce pot and mix to combine.
  8. Drain pasta and broccoli and add to a large boil for mixing.  Then top and toss with your sauce. 
  9. Top with shredded cheese and serve!  You can also add a bit of cheese and toss with pasta to add more body to the sauce.
I served this alongside some pan fried boneless skinless chicken breasts simply seasoned with salt and pepper.

1 comment:

Christine said...

I think I just found my dinner for tonight. This looks amazing!

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