Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato and Anchovy Sauce

Jacques Pepin’s
Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato and Anchovy Sauce

Serves 4

4 to 5 baby bella or white mushrooms
1 cup frozen baby peas
2 cups diced (1/2-inch) tomato
1 ½ Tbsp chopped garlic
3 Tbsp chopped anchovies with their oil
¾ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for the table
1 lb thin spaghetti, or other pasta of your liking
¾ cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves

Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Pile the slices together and cut them into thin strips (julienne). You should have 1 ½ cups. Combine them in a large glass bowl with the peas.

Add the diced tomatoes, garlic and anchovies with their oil to the bowl.  Sprinkle some red pepper flakes, salt, olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until done to your liking. Meanwhile, heat the tomato mixture in a microwave oven for about 2 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, ladle out about ¾ cup of the hot pasta water before draining the pasta, and mix it into the sauce in the bowl to help warm it up.

Drain the pasta, and add it to the sauce along with the cilantro. Toss well for 15 or 20 seconds, and divide among the four hot plates.  Serve immediately with extra grated Parmesan cheese.