Anchovy-Enough Pasta

G’day eaters!

Ya know how the other day I posted about a milestone I overcame when I cooked fish for the first time?

Well, here’s another fishy milestone for you — I cooked with anchovies!

Well, sort of.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I found this recipe for purple sprouting broccoli and chilli and anchovy pasta while searching easily de-gluten-able recipes for work. I didn’t think much of it, but then…I got curious.

I love a good cruciferous vegetable.

I love spicy things.

I love veg-packed pasta.

I love that I can get free gluten-free pasta from my office.

The only thing I didn’t love about this recipe was the anchovies. But really, it’s been years since I wrinkled my nose at the smell of them on my grandpa’s pizza (BTW — it’s his 80th birthday today!) and I’ve since become such a little pesca-lover that anchovies couldn’t be that scary, right?


The second I got to the grocery store and saw the packs of little slimy fish I got scared. I thought I could handle the ones in the tin, since I didn’t actually have to look at them in my cabinet for days (and they were cheaper), but that didn’t prove to be the case.

So, I kind of wimped out and just bought the paste. BUT, it’s still ground up little slimy fish, so I don’t consider it a total wimp out.

Maybe? Eh? Just give it to me, please.

And in exchange, I’ll give you…

Anchovy-Enough Pasta

~2 c Brussels sprouts, chopped

1/3 c oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 chilies, chopped and de-seeded

½ onion, diced

~2 c (gluten free) pasta spirals

3 T anchovy paste

salt and pepper, to taste

water for pasta

Mix the Brussels sprouts, ~1 T oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl and then dump into a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 200C/400F for 15-20 minutes, until at desired roasted-ness.

Put the pasta water on to boil.

In a pan heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and chilies and stir to coat. Continue stirring occasionally until the chilies and garlic are fragrant, lowering the heat if necessary to avoid burning. Add in the onion, stir to coat, and sauté until soft.

At this point, the pasta water should be boiling so add in the pasta, stir, and leave to cook.

After a few minutes, taste the pasta to check doneness (pay extra close attention if you’re using GF pasta). If the spirals aren’t quite done, continue cooking for a couple more minutes.

Spoon a few spoonfuls (equally about ¼ c) into the pan with the garlic, chilies, and onion. Give everything a good stir and then add the anchovy paste. Stir until it is evenly incorporated.

At this point, the pasta should definitely be done, so drain off the water. Return the pasta to the pot with the roasted Brussels and chili mixture. Give everything a good stir and add salt and pepper, as necessary.

To me, this is the kind of dish that you can eat whenever.

It’s relatively quick and easy. It’s not too heavy or comfort food-y, so you don’t need to wait for a rainy day or a special occasion.

The chilies give it enough kick, and the anchovy paste gives it enough salty bite, that this isn’t overwhelmingly carby.

Oh, and the gluten free pasta was pretty great. It had stayed more al dente and had more flavor then even whole wheat pasta.

So whether you’re gluten-free or gluten-heavy, whether you’re a fish lover, a fish lover in training, or terrified of anchovies, whether you’re craving a big bowl or pasta or a light lunch, this dish covers all the bases.

Maybe anchovies aren’t so scary afterall.

What do you think, eaters:

What’s a food you wish you could overcome your fear of?

Is pasta an everyday meal or strictly comfort food for you?

G’night eaters!


  1. That looks delicious! I have cooked eggplant before, but it still just sort of scares me. Oh, and artichockes, like fresh ones, I've never cooked those babies. Pasta – I love it immensely, so it's more of a once or twice a week thing (and spinach/artichoke or some other healthier version than plain white), because otherwise I could literally eat it every single meal.


  1. [...] For the first installments, check out Milestone Salmon and Anchovy-Enough Pasta.  [...]

Speak Your Mind