Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis has made a name for herself as a celebrated Italian-American chef with scores of delicious recipes, tips, and tricks for making home cooking of Italian cuisine easier.
One recipe, however, that didn’t resonate with some Food Network reviewers, however, was her anchovy and walnut linguine and it mostly had to do with her lack of one ingredient.
De Laurentiis’ anchovy and walnut linguine features a handful of ingredients
The Simply Giada star’s dish is a simple dish calling for linguine, olive oil, Calabrian chile paste, fish sauce, an anchovy fillet, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, baby arugula, mint leaves, and chopped walnuts.
De Laurentiis’ lifestyle and food blog, Giadzy, writes of the often-reviled and misunderstood anchovies, “Giada makes no secret of her great love of anchovies – it’s a superstar dish that packs a huge punch of flavor and is used all the time in Italian cooking. ‘These tiny fish may be divisive, but in my experience, even folks who claim to hate anchovies love the recipes they star in—after all, who doesn’t like a Caesar salad?’ says Giada.”
The chef’s dish comes together quickly
“Very, very easy dish,” De Laurentiis says in the Giadzy video, below, for this recipe. “Really all I have to do is cook the linguine, the pasta. Then the sauce, I just make in this bowl, actually perfect for summer or really, anytime.”
The chef starts by boiling the water for the pasta, noting that “You want to make sure that you’ve seasoned your pasta water. With lots of salt, like the sea.” It’s important as well, she adds, to use “a lot of water” to cook long noodles like linguine. “I like to use a tall pot to do that, so that way it has a lot of room to swim and cook evenly.”
While the pasta is cooking, the sauce can get started as she noted earlier, in a bowl. Calabrian chile paste (“It’s very spicy … use as much or as little as you like”) is mixed with fish oil (“Think of like a fish oil that’s used in a lot of Asian dishes; well this is the Italian version of that”).
Anchovy paste (or one anchovy fillet) is mixed in, followed by olive oil. Whisk it all together, salting and peppering as you go, going light on the salt because of the salty fish products and the salted pasta water.
The hot linguine is added to the sauce in the bowl. A couple of ladlefuls of pasta water is added to the sauce and linguine to loosen it up.
The cheese is sprinkled over the dish, and it’s all tossed along with the walnuts, mint, and arugula.
“I love these kinds of pastas; just because they have a lot of flavor, they’re super fast, and they also have greens in them so I feel like I have a whole meal all in one,” De Laurentiis said.
Get the full recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.
Reviewers called De Laurentiis out on her lack of an ingredient
Many reviewers praised the chef’s recipe saying on Food Network’s site, “This is delicious! Used it as a side with seared scallops. Will make it fairly often” and “This recipe brings back childhood memories! Love this so much. It is delicious and perfect!”
However, while De Laurentiis felt the dish was flavorful, some home cooks consistently used the word “bland” to describe it, and added garlic to boost the flavor.
“A little bland I really had to kick it up a couple of notches”, said one reviewer, while another was a tad more animated in their remarks: “Used more anchovy and no salty fish sauce. OMG it needs garlic Giada, at least I knew to add sliced fresh garlic. A little pasta water to thicken sauce is okay too.”
Lastly, one reviewer practically ended up with a different recipe: “Thought it was bland so I added garlic and replaced walnuts with fried prosciutto. … Good if you eat right away. Overall ok.”
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