Cathy's busy, Kirk's busy, so today it's ed (from Yuma) sharing a favorite recipe. And yes, ed sometimes cooks on a budget.
These days we are all looking for cheap and tasty eats when we can find them. Stuck out here in the desert, I crave seafood, but craving seafood on a budget these days is tough anywhere. Today, however, I'm going to share with you an inexpensive and tasty seafood dish that can be made in Yuma and darn near anywhere else in the world. And this week, the ingredients to feed two people cost me only about five dollars.
Here's what the ingredients look like:
I will use both cans of sardines in olive oil (on sale this week for $1 each), about two thirds of a pound of linguine (figure $.65 worth), a bunch of flat leaf parsley ($.79 if memory serves), one yellow onion and a head of garlic (around a dollar total), one lemon (this time of year, given away free), four anchovies and a little of their oil, less than a tablespoon of Korean style crushed red pepper, and three tablespoons of capers (together they should bring me up to around $5).
Here's the list of ingredients:
One medium onion (sliced into strips)
One head garlic (chopped)
One bunch flat leaf (Italian) parsley (destemmed and chopped)
3 TBs drained capers
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 cans sardines in olive oil
4 anchovy filets (and maybe some oil from can)
2 tsp crushed spicy red pepper
2/3 lb linguini or other pasta
Some pasta water
I begin by frying the onions in the oil from the sardines and anchovies:
After the onions are properly fried, I add the chopped head of garlic and the four anchovies, cut into small pieces:
Before too long, I put in the crushed red pepper, the destemmed flat leaf parsley, and the capers.
Toward the end of the process, I mash up one of the cans of sardines and break the other up into large pieces, adding them to the pan:
If I've synchronized things correctly, at this point the linguine will be slightly aldente and ready to eat. I add the linguine and a little bit of its pasta water into the pan, turn off the heat, and mix everything together. Because of the fishy oils and the dissolved anchovy, even those noodles that aren't covered with fleshy bits are full of the flavor of the sauce.
When the sauce does not fully integrate with the noodles, I place a clump of noodles in the middle of the plate and put extra sauce across the top of it. The finished dish (this is about one quarter of the complete recipe) looks like this:
I don't like to brag on my own cooking, but doggone this is good. Even Tina likes it. The sardine taste is upfront, deep, and thorough. The lemon, red chili, capers, and abundant parsley contribute flavorful background notes. Of course, none of my recipes is set in stone. Heck, some aren't even written down on paper. If I want more hot spice, more salty fish flavor, more lemon caper tang, or even more green herby parsley, I know what to do. But no cheese never.
Feeling frugal, Tina and I accompanied the pasta with a bottle of Rene Barbier Mediterranean White, which was a nice match - though it doubled the cost of the meal :-( . But for the truly frugal, I'm sure that this dish would make a bottle of Charles Shaw Pinot Grigio taste better too.
Give this recipe a try. Then mangia!