Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Dave's anchovy sauce

In honor of the newly-relaunched The Great Whatsit I made the anchovy sauce Dave mentioned in the comments section here a couple months ago. Dave used to be the sole author of The Great Whatsit, but starting today it is now more of a web 'zine with multiple contributors, a wide range of people from a research psychiatrist to a real estate agent. I've been impressed by the way Dave brought these people together and I think they're going to create something exciting. So far they're off to a great start with two posts today.

(By the way, Lane will post every other Wednesday starting this week. I'll post occasionally on subjects other than cooking and motherhood.)

Back to the anchovy sauce... I started the usual way, softening some minced garlic in olive oil, and then added one bottle of anchovies. I smashed these with a wooden spoon as per Dave's instructions and then added a can of crushed tomatoes with basil, a small can of tomato paste, about a third cup of red wine, and a cup of chopped black oil-cured olives.

While the sauce cooked I boiled some rigatoni. When the pasta was almost cooked I spooned it directly into the sauce with a slotted spoon. This allows me to control the pasta-to-sauce ratio more carefully. It also adds some of the pasta water to the sauce, which everyone seems to recommend (If Jamie Oliver jumped of a cliff, etc.). I topped with the usual grated Parmesan cheese.

This made a very rich, almost briny sauce that all three of us loved. I think I could have even added another bottle of anchovies for a stronger flavor -- though if you're not sure how you feel about anchovies start with just one small jar. In fact, the flavor is mild enough that if you've always been leery of anchovies this is a good way to introduce (or reintroduce) them to your table. I used red wine instead of balsamic vinegar because I though a less-tangy tone would complement the salty anchovies better. And I didn't add any salt at all. Between the anchovies and the olives there was plenty of salt (though I did add pepper).

And now we reach the gratuitous picture of Jasper segment of today's blog. We've just been invited to a playgroup on Monday mornings at 10:30. Here's our challenge, though: Jasper is still on the crazy schedule and woke today at 11:00. Therefore my goal for the week is to get him back on schedule so we can make it to this playgroup, which is way over in another neighborhood so we also have to factor in travel time.

I know what you're thinking: just get him up earlier. Yeah, that's the obvious solution, except that when he sleeps in I sleep in. Unlike most normal people I have no internal alarm clock. I'll sleep until the next day unless someone wakes me up. Maybe I can ask Lane to reset the alarm clock after he leaves each morning. Now you know the full hideous extent of my laziness. We like to sleep in my family, ok? It's a Velez thing. I need nine hours a night, and I'll take more if I can get it.


newbrooklyner said...

Did he move up to the next toddler level since I last saw him?

I hate to break it to ya, but he's looking like such a big kid.

Deseo que to cocines para nosotros. O sea para mi.

Anonymous said...

Anchovy sauce sounds delish. I think I have a genetic propensity for salty dishes. No wonder everyone in my family has high blood pressure. Check out this link for saline specialities from my part of the Philippines. Ginamos is a particular family favorite. My mouth waters to think of ginamos with fresh tomatoes and rice.