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Spaghetti with Anchovies & Bread Crumbs

Indio, California:  The wind has stopped, but dang if I didn't have a crappy day. Crazy stuff is going on in outer space - sun spots/solar flares - that caused our internet satellite dish to go full-on meshuga. The satellite dish on the roof of our bus flat-out refused to go on-line. This little blip caused me to be on the phone for 2 hours and 29 minutes with teach support from Motosat (the ever-patient Chad) and iDirect (the very-experienced Carlos). Understand, Dear Reader, there is a whole bunch of technical stuff going on behind the scenes that allow me to be hooked into the interweb in order to ship Camping Journal orders and update this site. There is a dish on the roof of our bus that links up to a satellite floating above the earth at 123°W, called Galaxy 18. Galaxy 18 finds the dish on our bus and we get/give information through each other. I think it is magic... until a day like today. So frustrating for this old gal. To be fair, we left Oregon in the middle of December and today was the first time we have had unsolvable (by me) troubles with the Motosat dish. But over two hours on the phone? Ouch. This long phone call caused me to miss my window for a run before I became hungry. At one o'clock I was HUNGRY. At two o'clock I had a mani-pedi appointment. Guess what that meant? No run. Two days in a row. Feh. No matter - a girl needs to look good, even if she is fat. After my beauty treatment, I cooked an easy gourmet meal for My Driver - Spaghetti with Anchovies & Bread Crumbs.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.

Coarse bread crumbs



Dried chile flakes

Grated pecorino

Parsley (from my little portable herb garden)

Chopped Parsley

This evening we watched Our Ducks lose in their first game of the Pac-12 basketball tourney in Los Angeles. This loss has made us change our weekend plans a bit. Yes, we have a Big Adventure planned for this weekend and it does not include Leo!

Stay tuned.

Until my next update, I remain, your fishy correspondent.

RV Park:  Motorcoach Country Club - The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, free wifi, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.