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  • Posted February 25, 2013 by

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    Pennette With Fresh Anchovy Gratin


    Anchovies give a piquant kick to tomato sauce in this mouthwatering pasta recipe. Pennette, which is a smaller and thinner version of the more popular penne pasta, is covered in rich tomato sauce enhanced with capers and fresh anchovy fillets then sprinkled with breadcrumbs flavored with aromatic herbs—fresh parsley, thyme, and marjoram—then browned in the oven until golden.


    A salty and savory dish, penette with fresh anchovy gratin is best paired with a chilled white wine that is high in acidity but not oaky. Some ideal pairings include Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, or Sancerre. The subtle sweetness of German Riesling can also help balance out the saltiness of the anchovies and capers.


    The cylindrical shape of pennette with its ends cut at an angle acting as scoops and its hollow center allows it to hold in the rich tomato sauce inside its narrow tube. Pennette comes in two varieties: smooth or ridged. The smooth version slides in the tongue and has a silky sensation in the mouth while the ridged ones absorb even more sauce and thus ends up more flavorful inside and outside.


    In this recipe, the pennette pasta is cooked separately in salted boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes and then placed in a baking dish where the sauce is poured over it and sprinkled with the breadcrumbs then browned in the oven until it forms a gratin. Depending on the instructions indicated in the packaging of the pennette pasta that you bought, cook the pasta in the salted water for a minute less than what is suggested in the cooking time, since you will be cooking it some more in the oven after boiling. For this recipe, you can use store-bought tomato sauce or make fresh tomato sauce yourself by pureeing blanched, peeled, and cored tomatoes.


    20 MIN
    20 MIN
    Recommended WineDolcetto d'Alba Cascina Francia â
    4 spoons pure cold-pressed olive oil
    1 garlic clove
    3 1/2 oz. capers
    8 anchovy fillets in oil
    1 lb. tomato sauce
    3/4 lb. pennette
    16 fresh anchovies
    For the breadcrumbs:
    4 spoons pure cold-pressed olive oil
    garlic clove
    1.8 oz. minced parsley
    1 branch fresh thyme
    1 branch fresh marjoram
    3 1/2 oz. breadcrumbs


    Boil down the anchovy fillets in oil.


    Sauté the capers and garlic clove in a pan with olive oil. Add the tomato sauce and season. Strain the fresh anchovy and add to the pan.


    For the breadcrumbs, brown the fresh herbs and chopped garlic in olive oil. Add the breadcrumbs.


    Cook the pennette in salted water for about 8 minutes. Add to the sauce and boil down for a minute.


    Pour the whole in a cocotte pan and cover with breadcrumbs. Gratinate 2 minutes on the grill or oven.

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