Mark Bittman must be a really busy guy. Aside from his weekly Minimalist column in the New York Times, he has a very active blog, regular speaking engagements that take him around the country and one of the hottest apps on iTunes based on his book, "How to Cook Everything."Not that he had much to do with the app…it was written right here in Portland by my friend, fab programmer and co-founder of Culinate.com, James Berry.
He used to have his own blog on the New York Times site, Bitten, but it's since been mooshed in with the newspaper's other food blogs and retitled Diner's Journal. (One might wonder if the Grey Lady was a little jealous of his traffic numbers and wanted to draft off his success. But I digress.)
Our own black cherry tomatoes simmering to perfection.
I've referenced Bittman's recipes multiple times on this blog, and realized recently that there was one that I hadn't told you about. It's one of my favorite easy dinners, especially during tomato season, and it calls for garlic, anchovies and cherry tomatoes. Yes, really, just three ingredients. Well, and pasta to put it on, optional red pepper flakes for zing and some grated parmesan. But it's that simple sauce that's the beauty part, rich and flavorful and the perfect combination of comfort and freshness.
Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Anchovies and GarlicAdapted from Mark Bittman's recipe for the New York Times
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 or 3 dried red chiles, optional
20 anchovy fillets, more or less [I usually use 1 tin, drained]
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cut pasta, like penne
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; a minute later, add garlic and chiles, if using. Cook garlic so it bubbles gently. When it is lightly browned all over, add anchovies. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about a minute, until anchovies begin to fall apart, then add tomatoes. Adjust heat so tomatoes bubble nicely, and cook until mixture becomes saucy, about 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
Meanwhile, cook pasta until tender but not mushy. When it is done, drain it, reserving a little cooking water to thin sauce if necessary. Pour sauce over pasta, sprinkle with parsley and serve with parmesan alongside.