Pasta with Anchovies and Zucchini Ribbons

Before you get turned off at the thought of anchovies in your dinner, hear me out.  You might be surprised to know that anchovies, as strange as they look stacked in a can, are delicious. In fact, anchovies are a brilliant little ingredient because, when used, they actually disappear into your dishes. That’s right. You won’t even be able to see them, or even pin down the taste of them.

They are complete flavor enhancers, and if anchovies still freak you out, there’s always anchovy paste, which brings all the flavor without having to pull them out of their can and chop them up. So, hopefully I’ve convinced you to give them a chance. If so, this is a great recipe to try. Also, this one. All you need are a few kitchen staples and you’ll have pasta on the table in no time.

Pasta with Anchovies and Zucchini Ribbons

Recipe adapted from Gourmet

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 lb spaghetti
3 garlic cloves
12 oil-packed flat anchovy fillets (or 2 tablespoons anchovy paste)
1 1/2 lb zucchini (about 3 medium), thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Heat oil and butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté zucchini 1/2 tsp salt until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente.

While spaghetti cooks, mince and mash garlic and anchovies together to form a paste. Add paste to onion with 1/2 tsp pepper and sauté 2 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain spaghetti. Add spaghetti to zucchini mixture with reserved cooking water and toss to coat. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and zest.