When I talk to my friends about cooking, most people I know, including myself, want to get better at making really good meals with what’s already in the house. I’ve realized that in order to achieve that, we need to come up with some staples to always have around in order to whip up something tasty without having to break the bank at Whole Foods every time you want to cook. So I’m introducing a new column on threemorebigbites: Perfect Pantry. We’ll compile a collection of must-have items to maximize your kitchen’s cooking power.
Found in: Most any grocery store or market.
Price: Approx 2 dollars per 2-oz. can
Great for: Pasta sauces and salad dressing
Those little cans filled with slimy, hairy, salty fish are the ultimate secret flavor weapon. People who say they don’t like anchovies will love a pasta sauce that has been enhanced with their unique flavor. This linguini recipe is the perfect example of super quick weeknight pasta. And if you don’t have prosciutto just leave it out. It will still be tasty. There are lots of uses for anchovies besides pasta sauce so I encourage you to always have some on hand.
Whole Wheat Linguini with Anchovies, Tomatoes and Prosciutto
- 1 pound whole wheat linguini
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- a 2-ounce can flat anchovy fillets, drained and minced
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.
In a large skillet add oil, garlic and onion. Stirring until cooked and onion is softened. Add anchovies to skillet and stir for about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, vinegar, and red pepper flakes and stir occasionally. Cook for about 3 minutes and add prosciutto, basil and salt and pepper to taste and keep over low heat.
Cook linguini in boiling water until done but still firm to the bite and drain in a colander. Return linguini to pot and add sauce. Toss to coat and sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.