Read The Laughing Chef's bio and previous
May 14, 2008
Pasta Salad, Starring
For as long as anyone can remember, the great question
regarding the anchovy has been whether it is a tool of the selfish to
guarantee a pizza pie to themselves.
None has consulted the anchovy as to whether this
constitutes an insult, so let us dodge the debate by seeking out another
use for our little fish friend.
I speak specifically of
miring it into a nice pasta salad. Here, the point is again made. Why
does the anchovy so frequently wind up in things associated with that
great Mediterranean boot?
Let us also dodge this
question and leave it to those who go about life in a state of advanced
agitation, who may spend years debating just who this realization might
insult. Instead, let us focus on the matter at hand.
The anchovy will come to
your home, not sneaking down your kitchen to garrote you in your sleep,
but by way of small metal tins. It is in filet form, which is fortunate
for you, because it minimizes the amount of actual hand-to-fish contact
you must have with it. A word to the wise . . . the taint of fish smell
is difficult to rid yourself of, and you may find yourself the unwanted
target of attention from the neighborhood cats.
Begin by boiling pasta.
Because this is a pasta salad, we settle for the standard salad pasta,
which is the rotelle. For those unwilling to learn non-English
descriptors, that means the pasta that is shaped like the body of a
screw (do not attempt to screw rotelle into anything, or else sorrow
shall be your bedfellow that night).
Now address the question
of other ingredients, because pasta salad that consists of only pasta
and anchovies is not really so much salad as it is a nightmare. After
cooking the pasta, you will want to let it cool nearly all the way
through before mixing it with ingredients for reasons that shall become
Cut the anchovy filets
into somewhat smaller pieces, and do the same to a handful of black
olives. Repeat with a small amount of red onion.
While you do this, roast
a handful of pine nuts in the oven. Doing this is as simple as
preheating the oven to 350 degrees, and sliding in a pan with a single
layer of pine nuts on the bottom. Wait a few moments and remove them.
You have roasted pine nuts. If this is your first time, clap yourself on
Meanwhile, also place to
the side a handful of freshly picked basil leaves, and also a few
chopped artichoke hearts. Finally, cut a lemon in half.
Once your pasta is
cooled, toss it with your ingredients, plus a couple cloves of minced
garlic, and lubricate it all with olive oil and white wine vinegar.
Squeeze the lemon over the top and mix that in, too.
Now, again ask yourself,
“Is the anchovy the tool of the selfish?” The answer is, “Pasta salad!”
Anyone who doesn’t get it
isn’t worth knowing.
North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
Click here to talk to our writers and
editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.
To e-mail feedback
about this column,
click here. If you enjoy this writer's
work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry
This is Column
Request permission to publish here.