Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “Ew, anchovies! Why would I want to put stuff that smells like catfood in MY food?” Well shut it, Sparky, because this stuff is awesome.
Properly applied, anchovy paste does not make everything taste like fish. Let’s get that out of the way. It makes everything taste better. If done right, it gives food this rich, savory background flavor that is delicious, yet impossible to identify. The trick is to use it wisely, grasshopper.
The first rule of anchovy paste: don’t use much anchovy paste. This stuff is nuclear. Add a teaspoon at a time until you’re happy with it.
The second rule of anchovy paste: don’t use much anchovy paste. Seriously.
The third rule of anchovy paste: cook it. Raw anchovy paste is not a good thing. Treat it like garlic. In fact, adding it with the garlic is a good rule of thumb. If the dish takes garlic, anchovy paste will make it better.
My very favorite application of anchovy paste is a Italian sauce. It’s great by itself on pasta, but broccoli, green beans, snow peas, zucchini or any other sautéable vegetable works too.
Sanders Clan Brand Make Stuff Taste Good Sauce
- olive oil, couple tablespoons or so
- half a onion, finely diced
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, depending on how much you like garlic
- anchovy paste, to taste (I usually add about a tablespoon)
- red pepper flakes, to taste (I usually add about a half a teaspoon)
The amounts are rough guidelines, it’s mostly to taste. Heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat, add the diced onion and stir around until softened (3-5 min). Add the garlic, anchovy paste and red pepper and stir around for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
For my favorite lazy meal, at this point I’d add broccoli florets and toss around until the broccoli is tender. Then add cooked pasta (I like the spiral rotini), toss around to coat, and add some grated parm, salt and pepper. It’s good stuff.