One night strands - quickie pasta meal

Ripped from Heston Blumenthal = posh store-cupboard fare...definitely a good incentive to properly stock that cupboard and fridge. Everything other than the parsley and basil will keep for ages, so no excuse!

Serves 4


Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion (peeled)
1 clove garlic (peeled)
1 small red chilli (halved and deseeded)
1 small green chilli (halved and deseeded)
2 fillets of salted anchovies, rinsed and roughly chopped
500g spaghetti (or linguine, tagliatelle - something long)
1 lemon
Bunch of parsley
Bungh of basil
Hunk of parmesan (or grana padano - bit cheaper but still good)

Have a big pan of water on the heat (the more water the better, but be generous with the salt - it makes a big difference to the dente rather than smoosh).

Cut the onion in half straight through the stalk and slice each half across that line as finely as poss in 1tbsp of the olive oil on a medium heat, until the edges just start to brown (a few minutes). Chop (or mince) the garlic and add to the onion. Now reduce the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes to soften the onion. Finely chop the chillies and add to the pan with the already chopped anchovy fillets. Cook for a further 5 minutes on a low-to-medium heat. Set aside.

Then put the pasta on to cook according to packet's instructions.

Meanwhile, zest the lemon, chop the pastley and basil and grate the parmesan. Set aside.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta but add 1tbsp of the cooking water to the original 'sauce' to make it a bit liquid. Then add the pasta to the sauce along with the lemon zest and chopped herbs. Chuck on the parmesan to taste. It'll probably need salt and black pepper (again to taste) and may need some more olive oil and lemon juice if you like that kind of thing.

It looks like a complicated list of ingredients, but start to finish this could be a half-hour lunch/supper if you have all the required ingredients and it should at least keep you alive with all the garlic/chilli going on!

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