spaghetti with garlicky breadcrumbs and anchovies

oh my, this is such a delicious plate of umami flavours. spaghetti dressed with a carbonara-inspired sauce of egg yolk, asian fish sauce and chilli sauce is mixed with crispy breadcrumbs that have been fried with plenty of garlic, anchovies and chilli flakes. add lots of black pepper, some parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice for freshness plus a drizzle of some grassy olive oil. demolish the pile of pasta and then lick your plate clean.

the original recipe is here, below is my adapted version for 1 person. next, i'd like to do a version with rosemary instead of parsley, although i'll add this to the breadcrumbs when they are toasting.

spaghetti with garlicky breadcrumbs and anchovies* (serves 1)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

3 anchovies, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon chilli flakes

1 cup homemade breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley

freshly ground black pepper

spaghetti for 1

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon asian fish sauce

½ a teaspoon chili sauce (i used tabasco)

lemon wedges, for serving

in a small pan (i used the pan i was planning to cook my pasta in, to reduce the washing up) medium-high heat, warm the oil. add the anchovies, garlic and chilli flakes then cook until fragrant, around 1 minute. stir in the breadcrumbs and cook until golden, around 2 to 3 minutes. season liberally with black pepper. add the chopped parsley and set aside.

cook your spaghetti, drain well, reserving some of the pasta water** (about 1/2 cup is plenty).

in a large, preferably warmed bowl, stir together the egg yolk, fish sauce and chilli sauce. add hot pasta and toss well, adding a little pasta water** if the mixture looks dry or unevenly yellow (you want the yolk sauce to evenly coat the pasta but you don’t want it to be soupy). add breadcrumb mixture and toss well, again adding a little pasta water if it looks too dry. drizzle pasta with more olive oil and serve with lemon wedges.

* based on a melissa clark recipe

** this is an important part of the original recipe which uses two egg yolks for four portions; because i used one yolk for one portion, the extra liquid wasn’t really needed. the video of the original recipe is useful for seeing when to add extra water if it is needed.