Spaghetti with Chard, Chili and Anchoves

Although the recipe indicates spaghetti, I only had linguine. Believe me, it was equally as wonderful.

1 bunch rainbow chard
3 tbs. olive oil
8 anchovies fillets (from a jar or tin)
3 fat cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes
125ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
7 oz. dried spaghetti
2-3 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, plus more to serve
drizzle of olive oil, to serve

Strip the leaves from the chard, then roll them and finely slice. Cut the stalks into pieces.

Heat the oil and anchovies in a large pan until the anchovies start to melt in the oil. Take the pan off the heat and grate in the garlic cloves and add the chili flakes. Put the pan back on the heat and turn it up to medium. Tip in the chard stalks and stir well. Add the water, cover and cook 5-7 minutes to soften the stalks.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente.

Add the chard leaves to the pan with the stalks, replace the lid and cook for 2-4 minutes to wilt. Turn off the heat and leave until the pasta is cooked.

Use tongs or a pasta fork to transfer the pasta directly from it’s pot to the pan with the chard. (You need to add about 4 tbs. of the cooking water to the sauce and this is an easy way to do that.) Toss everything together well and add the cheese. Spoon into warmed bowls and grate over more cheese, then drizzle with a little olive oil.

Serves 2 heartily

Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino

Simple perfection – pasta at it’s very best.

3 oz. spaghetti
3-4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 fat clove garlic (or 2 smaller) peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 dried red chili pepper or a fat pinch of chili flakes
chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Put a pan of water on for the pasta. When it comes to a boil, add salt and then the spaghetti. When you are about 3 minutes away from the pasta being ready, add the oil and garlic to another pan. Crumble in the dried red chili or flakes and stir over a medium heat. When the garlic has taken on a light golden color, add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and turn off the heat.

Drain the pasta and tip into the olive oil sauce. Toss well and check for seasonings.

Serves 1