Want to know one of my biggest secret weapons in the kitchen? It’s anchovies. YUCK you say? Well, you are SO wrong. I bet you wouldn’t even know that when you go to an italian restaurant and have a classic italian dish, a lot of the times anchovies are used! Yep, you heard me right. You eat anchovies without knowing it all of the time and you like them.
Erase all icky thoughts of anchovies in your head and let’s talk for a second so that we can get your head straight, okay? Don’t think of anchovies as little boney fish, think of it as a spice or seasoning rather. Anchovies add a depth of flavor, salty and savory, that is unlike anything else you’ve cooked with in the past. I toss mine in some olive oil and garlic and saute it, breaking it down with the back of a spoon until it turns into a paste-like texture, then I proceed to cook whatever I am cooking. Its the BEST addition to all things italian. I also love sauteing vegetables in this anchovy concoction, especially broccolini.
Okay, so, I think I have made my point by now but I want to say it once more, anchovies deserve your love and another try! Just trust me on this one.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (I use Baby Bella Mushrooms)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 oz. tin of flat fillet anchovies in olive oil
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup store bought marinara (check your labels and buy one that only uses clean ingredients and no added sugar)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 large zucchini's, spirilized (or just use 1 carton of Veggie Noodle Co. Brand)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp of Crushed Red Pepper (or more to taste)
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and mushrooms, saute mushrooms for about 5 minutes so that they begin to get tender.
- Now, add in the can of anchovies with the oil that they are packed in and let them sizzle for about 1 minute. After a minute, using the back of a spoon mash up the anchovies until they turn into a paste like texture (if you'd prefer you can use 1 tbsp. of anchovy paste instead. I just prefer it this way).
- Now , add the minced garlic, the crushed red pepper, and the cherry tomatoes. Saute for 2 more minutes.
- Add in the marinara and the water, let simmer for 2 more minutes, It will reduce just a bit. Season lightly with some fresh cracked black pepper.
- Add in the spiralized zucchini and let it cook in the sauce until just barely softened. I like to only cook mine for about 2-3 minutes so its not too crunchy, but not soggy tasting.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and crushed red pepper, if desired.
- Serves 1 as a main course, 2 as a side dish. This dish goes great as a side dish with some grilled chicken or grilled shrimp skewers!