[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]
This pasta dish is the the headstrong, wild umami bomb sibling to traditional aglio e olio. It might be even easier to make, as the sauce is essentially a no-cook vinaigrette that highlights colatura, a specialty aged Italian fish sauce that packs some serious savory seafood flavor in a very small package. You’d be hard-pressed to find a dish that delivers as much of a flavor payload with as little effort or time as this one. It’ll knock your weeknight dinner socks off, trust us.
Why It Works
- This no-cook sauce is really just a simple vinaigrette that highlights the savory depth of colatura.
- Vigorously tossing the pasta, colatura vinaigrette, and pasta water in a large bowl creates a creamy emulsion that coats the spaghetti.
- Toasted breadcrumbs strengthen the emulsion and also provide a hint of crunch.
- 1/4 cup (18g) panko breadcrumbs
- 5 tablespoons (75ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound (450g) dried spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) Colatura, plus extra as needed (see note)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
In a small skillet, combine breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until toasted and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer breadcrumbs to a small bowl, and season lightly with salt. Set aside.
In a Dutch oven or medium pot, bring 3 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add spaghetti to water and cook, stirring frequently during the first minute to prevent pasta from sticking. Cook pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a very large bowl, combine colatura, garlic, and pepper flakes. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, followed by 2 tablespoons (30ml) pasta water, to form an emulsion.
Transfer pasta to bowl along with another 1/2 cup (120ml) pasta water and parsley. Vigorously toss and stir pasta to emulsify sauce and coat withnoodles. Add breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Pasta should be well-coated with creamy, emulsified sauce. If it seems dry, add extra pasta water, 1 tablespoon (15ml) at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
Add lemon zest and taste pasta for seasoning, adding a final splash of colatura if needed. Serve immediately.
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