An easy pasta dish that is a summer staple

Lilly Higgins: Summer spaghetti that is a tangle of salty citrus

This summer spaghetti with anchovies and lemon is bright, salty and satisfying. Pasta is always my go-to on busy summer evenings, when there’s no inclination to cook, yet everyone needs to eat. More than that, everyone seems even more hungry after a day at the beach, hiking or biking. So pasta ticks many boxes. I love the Irish brand Bunalun’s wholewheat spaghetti or Rummo linguine which is really great quality and widely available. One of my favourite ways to eat spaghetti is to chop summer tomatoes and mix with garlic, herbs and olive oil. Leave the raw tomatoes to macerate in a little olive oil at room temperature for a few hours before folding the full-flavoured mixture through hot pasta. It’s delicious. The perfect balance of fresh and hearty.

Similar to that, this recipe is simple and versatile. A few anchovies add a meaty umami kick, or instead add some finely chopped olives to bring welcome saltiness and keep this vegan, along with freshly chopped red chilli for warmth and any herbs you have. I’ve used flat leaf parsley here to keep it simple. Basil, oregano or marjoram are ideal too. Rocket is good for a peppery bite.

It’s a meal made from such simple ingredients but do use a nice olive oil as you will rely on the flavour from it. I infuse the olive oil with garlic for a more subtle flavour. The garlic can then be used in another dish. This method of infusion is really handy for strong flavours such as chilli, garlic and ginger, where you want a hint of something but not for it to dominate the entire dish. You can also infuse herbs in oil to make a salad dressing.

I sometimes fold through some baby spinach, sauteed courgette or mushrooms to make this more of a substantial meal. Serve this with a big green salad and dinner will be on the table within 15 minutes.


Recipe: Summer spaghetti with anchovies and lemon

Lilly’s Kitchen Tips:

  1. Use the reserved garlic to make garlic bread. Mix the cloves with butter and spread on hot toast.
  2. Use leftover anchovies to make a classic Caesar salad dressing, use to marinade roast lamb, or spread them on to toast and top with fresh tomatoes. They add an indistinguishable salty umami flavour to dishes and are so versatile.
  3. Before juicing a well-washed organic lemon, always remove the zest. Freeze the zest flat on a lined tray then tip into a tub once frozen. You can add the frozen zest to marinades, sauces and baked goods such as cookies or pies.