This one is found in Rachael Ray’s cookbook entitled “Big Orange Book”. I have several of her books, and this one might be my favorite. This dish is very interesting, flavor-wise, and pretty light and healthy. Don’t skip the anchovies, they are a vital component of the pasta sauce, and it doesn’t taste fishy, I promise. Enjoy!
1 lb. spaghetti
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted if desired
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 to 8 anchovy fillets
8 to 10 piquillo peppers (you’ll find them jarred in the international foods aisle), or 4 roasted red peppers if you cannot locate the piquillo peppers
1 cup pitted good-quality black olives or Spanish olives, chopped (I found mixed Spanish olives in my grocery store’s deli section, so I used those)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add a generous amount of salt and cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies. Cook for about 5 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and the anchovies have melted into the oil. Break them up with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat to low while you are preparing the peppers.
Put the peppers into a food processor. Drain the jar first. Process into a smooth paste,then add it to the garlic and anchovies. Stir to combine and season liberally with black pepper (you really do not need to salt it because the anchovies are very salty to begin with).
When the pasta is about a minute away from being done, add about a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to the sauce. I used a large ladle, and added probably one and a half ladle-fuls of water, and it worked great. Bring the sauce up to a bubble for a couple of minutes to thicken it. Stir a few times to avoid burning it.
Drain the pasta well and dump it into the sauce. Stir to coat the spaghetti with the sauce. Garnish with the almonds and the chopped olives and serve!