Pasta c’anciova e muddica (breadcrumbs & anchovies) 

(serves 5 | 30 minutes | easy)

Pasta c’anciova e ca muddica, pasta with anchovies and breadcrumbs, is a wonderfully simple yet extremely tasty pasta dish, made with easily-preservable ingredients that can be sourced almost anywhere. Anchovies in olive oil, stale bread and tomato concentrate are the dish’s main ingredients (though I must admit that garlic and Pecorino play a very important role too). 

500g bucatini pasta – 400g passata / pelati – 3 garlic cloves – 100g anchovy fillets preserved in EVO – tomato concentrate paste – a handful of grated pecorino – 1 cup of breadcrumbs – extra virgin olive oil – salt and pepper  

  1. Place a few lugs of olive oil in a pan over high heat, add the breadcrumbs and toast them until brown and slightly crispy. Place in a bowl and set to one side. 
  2. Add a few lugs of olive oil to the same pan you used to toast the breadcrumbs, and the peeled garlic cloves and let them brown slowly. Add the anchovies and let them melt almost entirely, then add a squeeze of tomato paste (about 1 tablespoon), mix well and pour in the can of pelati, mix well, turn the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer and reduce slightly. 
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil, add a handful of rock salt and the bucatini, cook according to packet instructions. Once it is al dente, drain it and keep a mug of pasta water to one side. 
  4. Place the pasta in a large serving dish, pour the sauce over it and mix together vigorously. Add the grated Pecorino and a handful of toasted breadcrumbs. If the pasta is too dry, add some olive oil and cooking water.
  5. Serve each person and top the dish off with some more breadcrumbs.