Anchovies give an indescribable depth to your pasta dishes, spicing them up but without adding a fishy flavour. Obviously you could use any type of pasta you like here – macaroni, tagliatelle – it all works.
4-6 cooked artichokes, halved or quartered if large, and stems roughly sliced (see note)
150ml (5 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 anchovy fillets
100g (3½oz) smoked bacon,
Sea salt and freshly ground
½ small brown onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
400g (14oz) rigatoni
35g (1¼oz) freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf
Bread, to serve
Heat a large frying pan over a low heat and add the olive oil and garlic; gently fry the garlic, without colouring, for 2 minutes. Add the anchovies, bacon and a pinch of sea salt and fry for 2 minutes. Add the onion and chilli flakes, and cook for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent and the anchovies have melted. Add the artichokes and lemon zest and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of heavily salted boiling water for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and toss through. Add the lemon juice, Parmesan,parsley and a grind of white pepper to the pasta and fold through. Spoon into four pasta bowls and serve immediately with your favourite bread.
Note: to prepare fresh artichokes, trim the sharp points from the leaves, cut 2cm (0.75in) off the top of the artichoke, and trim the stems, leaving about 2cm attached. Use a teaspoon to remove the hairy centre. Place the trimmed artichokes in cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice. Bring to the boil, then
simmer for 25 minutes until soft but still a touch firm.
Taken from ‘Easy Weekends’ by Neil Perry (£20, Murdoch Books).
Photograph by Earl Carter.