I grew up as the oldest of six children and my parents both worked full time. Needless to say, there were some nights when dinner was made of purely pantry ingredients (some of these concoctions were better than others). My favorite pantry-night dinner was my mom’s anchovy pasta. My mom would get her biggest cast iron skillet, pour in a generous helping of olive oil, and gently heat anchovies, garlic, and red pepper flakes. While the aromatics lightly sizzled she would boil up enough pasta to feed a crowd and us kids would argue over who got to shake the pre-grated, slightly questionable container of parmesan. The pasta then joined the olive oil concoction and was swirled with some parmesan cheese and any greens left in the vegetable drawer.
This recipe is an adaptation of that mid-week favorite. I’ve stayed true to the quick and savory soul of the recipe, but I’ve added some of my own favorite pantry items to kick it up a notch. Capers provide a burst of vinegary brininess and Kraft pre-shredded parmesan cheese has been replaced with some freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. This recipe is infinitely adaptable; top it with a fried egg, shaved radishes, or bread crumbs!