At Da Fiore restaurant, we found some of the best food in Venice, from creations like a baby octopus and celery salad with vin santo vinegar to traditional dishes like this one. Contact your local specialty grocer for salt-packed anchovies and whole wheat spaghetti.
- 8 oz. salt-packed anchovies (about 32 fish)
- 1 1⁄2 cups tocai friulano or other dry Friuli white wine
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
- 12 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
- Soak anchovies in ½ cup of the white wine and 2 cups water in a large bowl for 30 minutes. Gently pull anchovies apart into lengthwise halves from the head end and remove and discard spines and all tiny bones. Wash anchovies in the soaking liquid, discard the soaking liquid, set aside 6 halves for garnish, then cut remaining halves into small pieces and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions and anchovies, breaking up anchovies with the back of a wooden spoon, until onions are very soft and anchovies have “melted,” about 10 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup wine and stir, scraping up any brown bits stuck to bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pot of lightly salted (the anchovies are very salty) boiling water over high heat until pasta is just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, add pasta to sauce, mix well, and serve garnished with reserved anchovies and parsley, if you like.