Midnight Spaghetti (Spaghettata di Mezzanotte)
The after-party Italian tradition of "midnight spaghetti" gave birth to this lusty pasta dish of anchovies, capers, tomatoes, and garlicky breadcrumbs.
Yield: serves 4-6
- 1 (12-oz.) loaf crusty bread, sliced 1" thick
- 10 cloves garlic (3 peeled, 7 thinly sliced)
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 10 canned oil-packed anchovy fillets, 2 tbsp. oil reserved
- 1⁄3 cup capers, drained
- 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1 lb. casarecce, or spaghetti
- 1⁄2 cup roughly chopped parsley
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Heat oven to 350°. Place bread on a baking sheet; bake until toasted, 20–25 minutes. Transfer bread to a cutting board; rub with whole garlic cloves, drizzle with 1⁄4 cup oil, and sprinkle with 1⁄3 cup parmesan, salt, and pepper. Mince 1 piece of bruschetta; transfer with crumbs to a bowl.
- Heat 1⁄4 cup oil, the sliced garlic, and chile flakes in a 12" skillet over medium heat; cook until garlic is soft, 2–3 minutes. Add anchovies and their oil; cook, stirring and mashing them up until they melt, 3–4 minutes. Add capers; cook until golden, 3–4 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, 4–5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water and add to skillet with 1⁄4 cup parmesan, the parsley, and zest; toss. Garnish with minced bruschetta, remaining oil, and parmesan; serve with bruschetta.