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What We Eat When We Eat Alone
by Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin
This hearty spaghetti supper was mentioned at least a few times. One man makes it with sun-dried tomatoes, another with fresh, while a third uses canned.  Anchovies are often added, and one lone cook topped his spaghetti with sauteed shrimp.  However you approach it, there should be plenty of big lusty flavor from the pepper flakes, olives, garlic—everything, really. These are approximate amounts.


    • salt
    • 3 to 4 ounces spaghetti
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
    • 2 healthy pinches red pepper flakes
    • 3 tablespoons slivered sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, or about a cup of diced fresh cherry or Roma tomatoes
    • 3 anchovies, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped kalamata or Nicoise olives
    • 1 tablespoon capers
    • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley 
    • a few sprigs slivered basil or a teaspoon chopped oregano
    • grated zest of 1 small lemon, plus juice, to taste
    • Parmesan cheese for grating


1. Bring a big pot of water to boil for the pasta. When it boils, add plenty of salt and then the spaghetti.

2. While the spaghetti is cooking, chop the rest of the ingredients, including the lemon zest, and put them in a bowl big enough for the finished dish.

3. When the spaghetti is done, drain it, then immediately add it to the bowl and toss. Taste a strand and add more salt or a squeeze of lemon juice, if needed. Add grated cheese to taste.



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