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A question about a recipe: Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic

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I have a question about the recipe "Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic" from Alexandra Stafford. Any problem subbing in sardines for anchovies? I sadly find myself anchovies and would rather not take a trip to the grocery store. If not sardines, any other substitution recommendations?

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

asked 6 months ago

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8 answers 348 views
Niknud
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added 6 months ago

should read, "I sadly find myself without anchovies..."

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Nancy
Nancy

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added 6 months ago

Your call.
In the comments, Alexandra Stafford responded to a similar request about substitution (smoked herrings) that their flavor might be too strong for the dish.
If you want anchovy flavor and have either Worcestershire sauce or Asian fish sauce around, use maybe 2 tsp of those.
If you want that and fish protein, add 2-3 sardines.
Or maybe just omit anchovy & its substitutes, and just enjoy the other flavors in the dish.

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dinner at ten
dinner at ten

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added 6 months ago

I often make a similar pasta (an adaptation of Zuni Cafe's broccoli and cauliflower pasta) in which I've substituted chopped oil-cured black olives instead of anchovies in that recipe and may prefer it with that substitution. Another type of olive, or less preferably capers, would also make a decent pungent and salty substitute.

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ChefJune
ChefJune

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added 6 months ago

Sardines, while delicious, do not have the complex flavor of anchovies. Personally, I might use a cured ripe olive.

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Niknud
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added 6 months ago

Thanks all - I like the idea of the cured black olives (bonus: I have olives!).

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Alexandra Stafford
added 6 months ago

I agree with everyone! Thanks :)

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Niknud
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added 6 months ago

In case anyone likes a good follow-up.... This was met with rave reviews by the kiddos/husband. I realized I didn't have any cured olives (pantry fail) but came back over the top at the last minute with a healthy splash of fish sauce (ah, fish sauce, is there anything you can't fix?). I used a full lb of pasta so I ended up adding closer to a cup of pasta water, added in 1/4 c increments, to really coat the noodles. I'm seriously considering ditching the overnight oats I made for breakfast in favor of the leftover pasta I brought for lunch.....

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Alexandra Stafford
added 6 months ago

Wonderful to hear this! Thanks so much for the update :)