This is one of my husband’s favourite pasta sauces. It is very simple indeed. It is what we call a dish for the “poor person”, as in the past not everyone could afford fresh fish or meat or cheese. In fact, it is made with anchovies and instead of eating it with grated cheese, we use roasted breadcrumbs… also called the “cheese of the poor” or, as we would say in Sicily, “muddica atturrata”. For this pasta you will need very simple and affordable ingredients… chances are you already have all of them in your pantry. So, why not try and make it for dinner? Enjoy!
Ingredients for 4 persons:
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
¼ tsp dry chilly, crushed
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 tbsp breadcrumbs
400 gms of vermicelli pasta (you can use spaghetti as an alternative)
Salt and water to cook the pasta
Finely chop the onions and garlic and put them in a pot with the extra virgin olive oil. Let them cook on a very low fire until the onion is translucent and soft. Add the crushed chilly.
Add the anchovies and stir well until they melt. Make sure that the fire is very low at this point or remove the pot from the fire if necessary: if the anchovies burn, they’ll taste bitter.
In the meantime, put the breadcrumbs in a small frying pan.
Roast them on a very low fire, stirring continuously. They have to brown, but not burn.
Cook the vermicelli pasta as per the instructions on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this blog. When ready, drain it and serve it with the sauce on the top.
Mix well before sprinkling the roasted breadcrumbs on the top.