Anchovies are a popular ingredient in Italian cooking, and while they may be small they pack a powerful punch in everything from pasta puttanesca to slow-roasted leg of lamb. Like puttanesca, tinned anchovies form the cornerstone of this super-simple, super-tasty pasta dish. It works best with a fusilli or caserecce, which are well-suited to lighter, smoother sauces as they cling to the twists of the pasta.
Pairing roast chicken with pasta is a less classic combination, but if you have the time it’s a brilliant way to get all the best bits of the bird – as well as the crispy skin for a topping. Here’s what you need to feed two:
- 1 high-welfare chicken
- 400-500g dried pasta
- 1 tin anchovy fillets in olive oil (we use these from Waitrose)
- 2 heaped tsp capers (chopped if large)
- Splash of white wine
- 1tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
First, cook the chicken:
- Remove your chicken from the fridge and preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9.
2. Turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook the chicken for around 1 hour 20 minutes (this will vary according to the weight of the bird, so always check with you butcher or the packaging).
3. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and leave to rest for around 15 minutes. Place your plates in the oven to warm up.
Next up, the pasta:
- Bring a full kettle to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions (around 10 minutes).
- Heat a separate pan and pour in the olive oil from the anchovies, bringing to a gentle simmer.
4. Add the anchovies, capers, white wine and chilli and allow to gently melt down, stirring constantly.
5. Drain the pasta, reserving 2tbsp of the pasta water, and pour the pasta into the pan with the anchovy mix, loosening with the pasta water if necessary.
- Stir well and heat through for another 2 minutes, allowing the mixture to dry up and intensify in flavour.
5. Meanwhile, crisp up any remaining chicken skin in a hot pan or oven.
6. Divide the pasta between two bowls, topping with chunks of the freshly-cooked chicken and crispy skin.