Spaghetti with Anchovies & Breadcrumbs

This one-pot RV-easy recipe uses mostly ingredients from the pantry and can be put together in the amount of time it takes to boil the pasta. It is filling, salty, spicy – with a wonderful anchovy flavor. Yes, there is a little bit of chopping/grating, but the dish comes together very quickly and is so yummy. The fish and cheese are salty, you shouldn’t require additional salt.

½ pound dried spaghetti
Kosher salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
2 ounce tin anchovy fillets (packed in oil), drained and minced
½ cup coarse bread crumbs*
½ cup reserved pasta boiling water
½ cup finely grated pecorino (or parmesan) cheese
Handful fresh parsley leaves, minced

Boil pasta in salted water, according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare the the rest of the ingredients. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water, then drain cooked pasta into a colander and let rest. Place the pot used to boil the pasta on a burner with a medium heat. Coat the bottom of the pot with the olive oil, add the garlic and stir for about one minute. Do not let the garlic burn. Toss in the dried chile flakes and anchovies. Continue stirring for another minute. Add bread crumbs. The bread crumbs will absorb the oil. Add the boiled pasta back into the pot, pour the reserved pasta water over and toss well. Toss again with the grated cheese. Divide onto two or three plates, garnish with chopped parsley and serve. Serves 2 hungry people or three normal people.

*Do not use store-purchased bread crumbs in this recipe. Just take a few slices of old white bread and let them dry-out. (This takes just a few hours in the desert, but you may need the help of a 250° oven if you live where it is humid.) Break-up the dried bread a bit with your hands and place in a plastic bag. Wrap the plastic bag in a kitchen towel and use a meat tenderizer mallet, hammer or similar object to smash the dry bread into coarse crumbs. Home-made bread crumbs are great to have on hand – use them to top casseroles, toss with pasta or on top of soups.