The word itself freaks me out. I know some people are huge fans of adding anchovies on top of pizzas, inside their sandwiches, in sauces and in pasta dishes. I, on the other hand, want to stay as far away from these little tiny fish with bones as possible.
So far, I've been quite successful in my avoidance of anchovies....that is until Robyn Webb emailed me a recipe for Linguine with black olives, capers and walnuts. I am, after all, her Senior Editor: I prepare the food, take photos and post her write ups.
I went to the store and bought a jar of anchovies. I opened the jar and smelled the fishiness (my face is scrunched up as I write this); I then accidentally spilled some of the oil on my kitchen counter, and then finally, bravely, but squeamishly, reached into the jar with a fork to take out a few of the anchovies filets.
Look at them! How can anyone want to eat these, I wonder?
But I had to proceed with the recipe. I chopped black olives, parsley and walnuts. I infused the olive oil with the garlic, then added walnuts and toasted them. In went the capers and olives, then parsley and some of the pasta water. So far, so good.
But then the crucial step: adding the anchovies, which have been finely chopped. Magically, they disappeared in the sauce: they literally melted in with the other flavors. The smell, of anchovies, either real or imaginary (in my head!), remained.
After cooking and adding the linguine, I added the pasta into the sauce and incorporated all the ingredients. I even tasted the dish: not bad at all. But if I make this again, I would definitely leave out the little fishy, bony anchovies filets.
It's your turn: do you love or hate anchovies? And if you ♥ them, how do you use them?