Why Anchovies Are Actually Awesome
Do you like anchovies?
If you’d asked me two days ago I would have said, “Ew, absolutely not.” The thing is though, until yesterday I hadn’t actually even tried anchovies.
I tried sardines straight from the can once and thought they were extremely salty and disgusting.
Anchovies and sardines are two of those foods that you automatically assume you don’t like — whether you’ve tried them or not — and a lot of the time you’re probably right.
However, after reading an article in Men’s Health this week (no I don’t have any shocking news to share), I decided to give anchovies a try.
The article detailed how despite their slimly texture and somewhat unpleasant smell, these small, salty fish are actually quite delicious when incorporated appropriately into dishes. They contribute an umami (savory) flavor to food.
Better than just being edible though, these oily fish are packed full of Omega 3 fatty acids, essential for heart health. They’re also high in protein, low in mercury (a highly toxic metal) and relatively inexpensive compared to other sources of Omega 3 fatty acid, like salmon.
Anchovies are a key ingredient in the classic Italian dish Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.
Most recipes call for a tin (2 oz) of anchovies, which ends up adding about 13-16 grams of protein. Add that to the 7 grams of protein per serving from whole wheat pasta, and you’ve got yourself an incredibly balanced meal.
This week my man and I are housesitting for our friends in their incredibly awesome Hollywood Hills pad, while they enjoy a two-week trip to Italy.
Coincidentally, it was one year ago this month that we took our first trip to Italy.
Last night we figured, we may not be jet-setting to Capri this week, but we could certainly still recreate the romance of our trip with a lovely dinner here overlooking the city.
It’s no Amalfi Coast, but it’s pretty gorgeous none the less.
- 4 oz. Whole Wheat Pasta
- 1 tin (2 oz) Anchovies
- 12 oz. can Tomatoes, diced
- ½ C. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- ¼ C. Fresh Oregano, chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 T. Black Olives, chopped
- 1 T. Capers
- 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Fresh Grated Parmesan (optional topping)
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil over a medium high flame and saute garlic and anchovies for about 3-5 minutes until anchovies disintegrate.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Pour sauce over pasta and sprinkle with parmesan.
- Enjoy with a lovely green salad and my version of a classic Italian Spritz!
The meal turned out pretty great, and unlike when I was in Italy, I felt confident that I wasn’t blowing my whole week of healthy eating and exercise on one bowl of pasta.
Maybe it was the view, maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the Puttanesca but I have to say, I now think anchovies are pretty awesome.