Cantabrian Anchovy pasta with red pepper pesto

Recipe by Lello Palomba with recipe image taken by David Loftus. For more information visit here. 

Cantabrian Anchovy pasta with red pepper pesto

Anchovies pack a flavour punch in any dish and none more so than the ones from the MSC certified Cantabrian fishery in Spain. These tasty and sustainably sourced little fish will keep our palettes entertained for years to come.

Serves 2

You will need:

  • 6 MSC brown Cantabrian anchovies in oil (or any other MSC certified anchovies)
  • 200g wholewheat squared spaghetti
  • 1 red pepper
  • 60g skinned, sliced almonds or pine nuts
  • 40g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp capers in salt
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6.

For the fried capers:

2 Desalinate the capers by letting them soak for 10 minutes in cold water, then drain them well
and gently warm them in a hot non-stick skillet to dry any excess water
3 In a saucepan, heat the olive oil till it’s almost boiling and then fry the capers, letting them
4 Allow the fried capers to dry on absorbent paper without crushing them and set aside

To make the pepper pesto:

5 Roast the whole bell pepper (capsicum) in the oven for about 1 hour, then put it in a paper
bag or a pot with a lid. Once it is completely cold peel, remove the seeds and slice.
6 In a blender, place the cleaned bell pepper (capsicum) slices, 4 of the anchovies, 50g of the
almond slices, the Parmesan cheese, the garlic clove, and the basil
7 Blend by pouring the oil in a trickle until creamy, adjust salt and pepper and keep aside

For the pasta:

8 Cook the squared spaghetti for the time indicated on the package; when done, set a little
cooking water aside and drain them the rest
9 Toss the spaghetti with the pepper pesto using a little cooking water to soften the cream if
necessary, making sure it’s well combined
10 Arrange a spaghetti nest in the centre of a plate and decorate with an anchovy roll, the
remaining almond fillets, fried capers and a basil leaf.

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