Good ol' Friday spaghetti, a dinner staple at my house and one that can easily be made with everyday products. This recipe goes back to my own childhood when my mother would make it for dinner just about every Friday! We are not strongly religious and rarely practice religion as we once did when I was young, but this recipe's name is derived from strictly catholic roots. Being an italian and roman catholic, Friday is the day when fish is to be consumed instead of meat. Classic italian meat sauce, therefore, wasn't an option and Friday spaghetti was born to fill in the gap. I just grew up with it being a tasty meal that I looked forward to. Back then I wasn't a vegetarian, and I love that I can still appreciate this meal unchanged. Its flavor comes from a combination of garlic, onions, tomato paste, and salty anchovies. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and this is to die for! It is carb city, but it is well worth it, especially how we used to eat it-with a big slice of buttered italian bread to soak up any extra sauce.
Over the years I've tried some variations of Friday spaghetti: adding chopped green olives and capers (putanesca style), using whole wheat spagetti, playing with the consistency using ground chickpeas, and even adding vegan ground "meat". All of them were wonderful, but in the end I love Friday spaghetti just the way it is: a simple, thin, salty, italian sauce.
3 tbl olive oil
1/2 large white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tin anchovies in olive oil
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2-2 1/2 cups water
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb angel hair pasta
parmesan cheese for topping
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add in the minced onion and sautee until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and sautee until cooked, about 1 minute. Add in the entire tin of anchovies, oil and all. Continue to stir the anchovies into the onions and garlic until they have completely melted into the mixture, about 1 minute.
Add in the can of tomato paste and mix to combine. Continue to stir the mixture to cook the tomato paste for about 1 minute. Using the same can the tomato paste was in, empty 3 cans worth (about 2-2 1/2 cups) of water into the tomato paste mixture and stir to combine.
At this point, turn down the heat to low. Add in the red pepper flakes and the salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer on low heat while you cook the pasta or for about 30 minutes.
Make the pasta in extremely salty water, strain, and mix with about half of the tomato sauce. Save the other half for topping. Serve with the extra tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.