I had some anchovies sitting around and was looking for a pasta recipe for a solo New Years Eve Dinner (Michael is working). I stumbled upon a recipe for Spaghettata di Mezzanotte or Midnight spaghetti. What could be more perfect for New Years Eve.
This simple pasta is meant to be a late night meal for revellers, (perfect for Vegas!). The idea is that you have been out for a great evening and don’t want the evening or the company to end. You head home and throw together a simple pasta to fill the growling tummies and keep the conversation rolling.
I did a wheat spaghetti with garlic, anchovies, capers, crushed tomatoes, parsley, pecorino and lemon zest and paired it with an Asti Spumante. It only seemed appropriate to pair with an Italian sparkler.
Spaghetatta di Mezzanotte – Midnight Spaghetti
It’s pretty simple, start by slicing up some bread in 3/4 to 1 inch slices and toast them in the oven for 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees. When they come out, rub them with garlic, drizzle with olive oil, peccorino, salt and pepper. One or two of these you will crush to crumbs to sprinkle on top, the rest are for on the side.
Get your water going for the pasta, since that will need to boil and then the pasta will take about 10 minutes to get to al dente.
Pour some olive oil in a pan and add thinly sliced garlic and chili flakes. Let these soften for around 2 minutes then toss in a can (or two) of anchovies, including the oil. Stir these around until they break up, about 3 minutes. Now add some capers and cook a few minutes, then crushed tomatoes and cook for 4 or 5. Drain the pasta and reserve a cup or so of the water, toss the pasta and water in with the tomatoes and let it meld for a bit over medium heat. Finish with some pecorino, rough cut parsley and lemon zest. Sprinkle with the crumbs and set a couple of the bruschetta on the side. Pop a bottle of Asti and tuck in!
The Asti I had was Gaetano d’Aquino Asti Spumante Dolce NV. It was great with the saltiness & richness of the pasta, cutting through with a slight acid and great fizz. I did notice once my pasta was gone that the Spumante kept seeming sweeter and sweeter.
Asti Spumante comes from the Piedmont area of Italy and is made from Moscato Bianco, the muscat grape which has a tendency to be a little sweeter, but still has good acid for pairing with food.
So finish your late night dinner and end the evening finishing off that bottle of Asti!