Don’t laugh: My Lover is scared of fish. No, really.
As a result, I have never cooked a piece of fish that wasn’t either: covered in batter or breadcrumbs, and shaped like a finger.
He’ll eat fish, but it can’t look like fish – i.e. it shouldn’t really have bones, can’t have skin and mustn’t have a head… which sort of narrows it down.
I found this recipe in the Cupboard Love book, I think the bit that attracted me was that the fish gets cut up really small, and then mashed… No way that bad boy’s going to look like a fish.
To feed two people you will need: 200g Linguine or Spaghetti, 1 garlic clove, 3 anchovy fillets, half a teaspoon of crushed chilli (I use chilli flakes – it might be the same), the juice of half a lemon, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 1 tin of sardines in olive oil, salt and pepper, parsley to finish (I did this once, then never again – its messy)
Step one, finely chop the garlic clove and the anchovy fillets – you don’t have to de-bone the fillets because they’ll dissolve in the lemon juice, but I get the ones that poke out. Once chopped put them in a bowl with the chilli, lemon juice and olive oil, and leave it for about half an hour.
After about twenty minutes boil your pasta water and drain the sardines. Cook the pasta as directed on the packet, as soon as the pasta is in the pan put the sardines in the bowl and mush it up with a fork. It should now look slightly like cat food:
Yum. Drain the pasta, then stir the ‘sauce’ in with the pasta in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and serve with.
It was really easy to make, and it’s very, very tasty. I’d never had sardines or anchovy before, so I wasn’t totally sure what to expect – but I’m really glad I took the dive and gave it a go.
It takes about five minutes to cut everything up – and then about half an hour to infuse, with the pasta cooking in 10 minutes . A perfect dinner for after work. I’ve made it two more times and not made any alterations to the recipe.
Try it tonight!
Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)