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Spelt Spaghetti With Olives & Anchovies

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

The amount of pesto-like sauce you're making here is so scant that you really do need a stick blender, a relatively inexpensive and (for me) indispensable piece of gadgetry, unless you have a processor that comes with a small bowl to fit into it. Of course, to make this in the trad manner, you'd need a pestle and mortar, and should you have one and want to use it, ignore my recommendations on the machinery front and enjoy the elbow grease and authenticity.

This is also good cold - any leftovers will keep for 2 days in the fridge.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

The amount of pesto-like sauce you're making here is so scant that you really do need a stick blender, a relatively inexpensive and (for me) indispensable piece of gadgetry, unless you have a processor that comes with a small bowl to fit into it. Of course, to make this in the trad manner, you'd need a pestle and mortar, and should you have one and want to use it, ignore my recommendations on the machinery front and enjoy the elbow grease and authenticity.

This is also good cold - any leftovers will keep for 2 days in the fridge.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Spelt Spaghetti with Olives and Anchovies
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 2

Metric Cups
  • 200 grams spelt spaghetti or other spaghetti
  • salt for pasta water (to taste)
  • 10 pitted green olives
  • 10 anchovy fillets from a can or jar (drained)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons pinenuts
  • leaves from 1 small (approx. 20g) bunch flatleaf parsley
  • zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
  • 60 millilitres olive oil
  • 7 ounces spelt spaghetti or other spaghetti
  • salt for pasta water (to taste)
  • 10 pitted green olives
  • 10 anchovy fillets from a can or jar (drained)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons pinenuts
  • leaves from 1 small (approx. 1oz) bunch Italian parsley
  • zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Method

  1. Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. When the pan comes to the boil, salt the water generously, or to taste, and add the pasta; my spelt spaghetti needs 8-9 minutes, so I set the timer for 7 and start testing for doneness then.
  2. To make the sauce, put the olives, anchovies, garlic, pinenuts, parsley, lemon zest and juice and olive oil in a small bowl and blitz with a stick blender (or in your mini processor bowl). Don't worry about the odd unmashed pinenut (or olive); indeed, they are rather appealing.
  3. Just before draining the pasta, remove a cupful of starchy cooking water and immediately add 2 tablespoons of it to the bowl of sauce, then give another brief blitz to combine those last ingredients.
  4. Tip the drained pasta back into its pan, then pour and scrape the sauce on top and toss to mix, adding more of the cooking liquid if you feel you need the sauce to be looser.
  5. Season to taste - you may want pepper or more lemon juice, but I can't see salt being necessary - then toss again and turn out onto a warm serving dish or divide between 2 plates or bowls.
  1. Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. When the pan comes to the boil, salt the water generously, or to taste, and add the pasta; my spelt spaghetti needs 8-9 minutes, so I set the timer for 7 and start testing for doneness then.
  2. To make the sauce, put the olives, anchovies, garlic, pinenuts, parsley, lemon zest and juice and olive oil in a small bowl and blitz with a stick blender (or in your mini processor bowl). Don't worry about the odd unmashed pinenut (or olive); indeed, they are rather appealing.
  3. Just before draining the pasta, remove a cupful of starchy cooking water and immediately add 2 tablespoons of it to the bowl of sauce, then give another brief blitz to combine those last ingredients.
  4. Tip the drained pasta back into its pan, then pour and scrape the sauce on top and toss to mix, adding more of the cooking liquid if you feel you need the sauce to be looser.
  5. Season to taste - you may want pepper or more lemon juice, but I can't see salt being necessary - then toss again and turn out onto a warm serving dish or divide between 2 plates or bowls.

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What 1 Other has said

  • This is extremely good. Especially helpful when I arrive home late from work and eating solo. Half goes in the lunch box for the next day. I can never find spelt spaghetti though so I used wholewheat.

    Posted by Bobby_C on 11th May 2021
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