Home Cooking: Melissa Clark’s Lemony Pasta Kelp, Chile and Anchovies

I’ve been saving recipes for pasta right now, to take advantage of my new Philips Pasta Maker (which I love, my god, it’s so much fun). The New York Times, which is probably my favourite source of recipes, put up a paywall a while ago for their Food section. I’ve been too cheap to pay for it (and already subscribe to the regular edition) but they dropped the paywall for World Press Freedom Day (3 May) and suddenly I found some amazing recipes.

Actually, I don’t know why it’s still available (as of 18 May):


This caught my eye because I really love an unusual ingredient and … kelp.

The idea of the recipe is that the puréed kelp gives the sauce a depth of flavour and an interesting texture that matches with anchovies, a generous amount of parsley and a hit of chile. It works! Plus, I got to make a fresh batch of penne, which turned out better than the first batch I made (I used more pasta flour and less semolina, but added some xantham gum to make sure the pasta stuck together).

I’m not sure that the kombu that I found in an Asian grocery was exactly what Melissa had in mind for her recipe (she said you can find kelp as purée or smoothie cubes from specialty shops in the USA) but it worked fine. About 35 grams dried gave me the 70 grams needed; I used the nutribullet to purée it and I thought the flavour combo was great. I think I’d put even more than the 8 anchovy fillets that it required, and the more fresh parsley the better.

I’m definitely going to make this again, and it’s weird enough (and tasty enough), I’d even serve it to guests.

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