Spaghetti with Fried Capers and Anchovies

Published March 1, 1999.

Why this recipe works:

If you have garlic and olive oil on hand, you have the makings of a basic sauce for pasta; we wanted to develop a garlic and oil pasta recipe with perfect proportions that would create a sauce with balanced flavors quickly and easily. Our final pasta with garlic and oil recipe used 1/3 cup of… read more

If you have garlic and olive oil on hand, you have the makings of a basic sauce for pasta; we wanted to develop a garlic and oil pasta recipe with perfect proportions that would create a sauce with balanced flavors quickly and easily. Our final pasta with garlic and oil recipe used 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil (pure olive oil was deemed too bland) for 1 pound of spaghetti. Four medium cloves of garlic delivered flavor without overwhelming the pasta. We passed the garlic through a garlic press and diluted it in a little bit of water to guarantee even distribution and prevent burning.

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Serves 4

The garlic is quickly and easily pureed with a garlic press. Alternatively, you can mince it with a chef’s knife, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and continue to mince to a paste, but be sure to reduce the amount of salt cooked with the oil and garlic. Diluting the garlic with a bit of water before sautéing ensures a mild, even garlic flavor and helps to prevent burning. Although not a pantry item, parsley adds a fresh herbal flavor and should be used if you have some on hand. To keep the capers from splattering during frying, thoroughly pat them dry with paper towels before adding them to the skillet.

Ingredients

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