When Melissa Clark needs to get dinner on the table fast, the New York Times food writer and author of “Dinner: Changing the Game,” pairs pasta with a classic trio of bold flavors: anchovies, garlic and chilies. “It is one of my favorites,” she says. To make it yourself, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain. While the pasta cooks, in a 12-inch skillet over medium, heat 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 3 medium garlic cloves (smashed and peeled), stirring often, until the garlic is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add 10 to 12 oil-packed anchovy fillets (drained) and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Reduce to low and cook, breaking up the anchovies and garlic with a spoon, until the anchovies have disintegrated, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the drained pasta to the skillet along with ¼ teaspoon black pepper and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Toss well, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped), then taste and season with salt and black pepper. If desired, toss in a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to loosen the noodles. Serve sprinkled with additional red pepper flakes and drizzled with additional oil.
Melissa Clark's Pasta with Anchovies, Garlic and Pepper Flakes
Illustration: John Dykes; Photo: Connie Miller of CB Creatives; Styling: Christine Tobin