The Cinque Terre, are known for their fresh anchovies. I have never been a big fan, but I know they're good for you (and cheap). I was determined to try them and allow the people of Liguria to wow me. The recipe below is my take on the most common plate of pasta with anchovies being served up and down the coast (and yes, I was finally sold).
Spaghetti alle acciughe (Spaghetti in anchovy sauce)
3.5 oz. anchovies
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup milk
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (about 2 medium tomatoes)
10.5 oz. spaghetti
In a small saucepan, bring the milk and garlic to a boil (watch carefully!), turn off heat, and cover. Meanwhile, slice and bone the anchovies, if needed. If they are salted, give them a quick bath in white vinegar to remove some of the salt, drain, and pat dry.
Bring heavily salted water to boil in another large saucepan and cook the spaghetti, al dente, according to package directions. Drain and reserve once cooked.
In a medium skillet, over medium heat, warm the olive oil and sauté the anchovies until they dissolve. Lower to medium-low heat and add the garlic-milk combination, stirring constantly until combine. Add the chopped tomato, stir and heat through, and then add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce.
Serve with a dry white, like pinot grigio, or table-friendly Sangiovese.