If there’s one thing I don’t like about some restaurants, it is their tendency to scrimp on key ingredients in dishes. I had this very experience Friday night, when I ate at an Italian restaurant in Greenbelt 5. The restaurant was famous for its pasta, and for a change, I veered away from my usual favorite in that restaurant. So I ordered a penne dish with anchovies, tomatoes, and zucchini.
The dish was a total disappointment — a total failure! It barely had any anchovies and it barely had any flavor.
Modesty aside, I thought to myself, I could certainly do better. Anyone could do better.
Hence, after work today, I decided to treat myself to a real pasta treat at home — considering the work that I put in this past week. My mission: to create a dish without scrimping on the ingredients — and also, without using the stove.
The end result: Fusilli with Toasted Vegetables, Bacon, and Anchovies
200 grams fusilli noodles, boiled using the microwave
3 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 eggplant, sliced into circles
10 cloves garlic
5 strips of bacon, chopped
1 can anchovies fillet
3 tbsp pesto sauce
salt and pepper
Arrange the garlic, eggplant, and tomatoes on the oven toaster’s tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Toast for about 7 minutes, or until the garlic starts to have a golden brown color. Toasting the garlic instead of sautéing it gives it a flavor that is somewhat sweet and not as strong. When done, set aside in a bowl and keep it covered.
You can now toast the bacon and the anchovies in the oven toaster. Put them on the tray and drizzle with olive oil and pepper. Toast until the bacon and anchovies are toasted and crispy.
Before adding the toasted ingredients, mix in the pesto and two teaspoons of olive oil into the noodles. Add the toasted ingredients. Add parmesan cheese and more pepper.
Serves 2. Enjoy!