Thank goodness for Sicilian food! And thank goodness for my best friend who speaks fluent Italian so I don’t have to consult a dictionary every time I want to cook something Italian! Of course, I could just say “spaghetti with anchovy” but that just sounds really boring. “Spaghetti alle acciughe”, on the other hand, sounds like summer on a plate, reminiscent of the hot weather on the island of Mount Etna.
I am big fan of Sicilian food and I especially adore the combination of sweet and salty in their pasta dishes. However, this is not your typical Sicilian dish. In fact, most Sicilians will probably get a heart attack merely from looking at the title of this blog post. (Jeeez, such wussies!)
So to all the Italian/ Sicilian/ “Do not mess with classic dishes”-ian people out there: don’t read on! To all the rest: try the recipe, it is a true delight! 😉
This simple whole wheat pasta dish combines the classic flavours of Sicily (raisins, anchovy, lemon) with the typical gutsy ingredients Belgium is so renowned for (Brussels Sprouts). If I had to compare this dish with a Hollywood couple, it would be Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling. Hot and steamy. But also very robust and mysterious. Oh yes, this dish is Eva and Ryan intertwined in one big bowl of pasta… I better stop with this comparison because it is getting a bit out of hand 😉
Spaghetti alle acciughi with Brussels Sprouts
• 350gr wholeweat spaghetti or linguini
• 500gr Brussels sprouts, trimmed
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
• Handful of raisins
• Zest and juice of half of lemon
• Handful of roasted flaked almonds
• Parmesan, grated
• 25 anchovy fillets, in oil
1. Bring a large pan of water to boil, add plenty of salt and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. (Save some of the starchy cooking water for the pasta sauce)
2. Meanwhile, blanche the Brussels sprouts for a couple of minutes and then rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Cut the al dente Brussels sprouts in half.
3. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and fry for three minutes until the onion has softened.
4. Then stir in the cooked pasta, Brussels sprouts, anchovy fillets and raisins.
5. Add some of the cooking water from the pasta to give the pasta a glossy look and smoother texture.
6. To finish, stir through lots of grated parmesan cheese, sprinkle some lemon juice and zest over the top and garnish with some crunchy almond flakes.