I have a romance with strong, well-defined flavors. I love stinky cheeses, all kinds of spices, olives and, of course, I love anchovies and capers. This anchovy-capers gluten-free pasta perfectly illustrates that love.
Some call this kind of pasta “midnight pasta.” I assume it’s because if you get hungry after hours or are craving for a good bowl of pasta, no matter the time, you can make it with whatever you have in your pantry.
Whatever doesn’t mean flavorless or junk. It can be anchovies and capers. Garlic and red pepper flakes. Extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese… There is no way you can go wrong with these ingredients. But If you add toasted bread crumbs and fresh parsley, then the result will be the closest to heaven!
Experimenting with red lentil pasta
I must confess, I wanted to experiment with the new lentil pasta and I picked Barilla red lentil rotini. I was amazed that this pasta has only one ingredient: red lentils. Cero stuff which names you can not pronounce. And because I first eat through my eyes, its bright color simply got me!
Being made of red lentils, means this rotini are gluten-free. But the anchovy-capers pasta I had in mind called for fried or toasted bread crumbs. Panko, to be precise, which is made out of wheat bread, so it has gluten, and I didn’t have gluten-free panko in my pantry…
Experimenting with casabe
To keep the dish gluten-free, casabe came to my mind. Casabe is a Venezuelan flatbread, made of cassava and only cassava (also known as yuca and not to be confused with yucca.)
To make casabe, raw cassava is grated and then squeezed and drained, to finally be cooked in huge pans called budares. With no leavening agent and no fat at all, the result is a neutral, crispy, pretty cool flatbread.
Casabe was the bread of the indigenous people of Venezuela, Colombia, and the Caribbean basin. There, yuca is still an important source of carbohydrates, with the great advantage that this tuber is full of fiber and it’s gluten-free.
So, instead of adding panko, I grated casabe in a food processor and then toasted it in a skillet with olive oil. The experiment turned out to be a total success.
Dinner in 15 minutes
The rest was so super easy. So easy that you can really prepare this anchovy-capers gluten-free pasta in less than 15 minutes. Following are my tips to help you in the process:
- While the water for the pasta is boiling, process the casabe and toast it in a skillet with olive oil.
- Don’t leave the casabe unattended: stir it constantly so it doesn’t burn (it can burn really fast.)
- While the pasta is cooking, in a deep pan simmer your garlic, anchovies, capers and red pepper flakes, in a good quality olive oil, until the garlic is wilted.
- Two minutes before the pasta is ready, take it out of the water with a strainer. Add it to the pan with the anchovies and capers, without draining it so much.
- Continue cooking, while adding some of the pasta water and grated Parmesan cheese. The idea is to have all the noodles covered with anchovy “sauce”.
- Add half of the casabe crumbs and half of the parsley and combine.
- Serve with more casabe crumbs, parsley, and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Where to buy lentil pasta and casabe
I usually buy casabe at my local grocery store, but you can also find it on Amazon (affiliate link). I’m not familiar with any of those brands. But casabe is such a simple thing that you cannot go wrong with it.
Anchovy-capers Gluten-free Pasta Recipe
Following is my flavorful anchovy-capers gluten-free pasta recipe. It’s perfect now that we have Lent around the corner. I hope you like it as much as I do. Thank you for subscribing to my Youtube channel and visiting my Amazon store.
Anchovy-Capers Gluten-free Pasta
- 1 8.8-ounce package of red lentil rotini
- 1 cup casabe grated in a food processor
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 1 2- ounce can of anchovy fillets
- 1 tablespoon non-pareil capers
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- ½ cup parsley leaves chopped and divided
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese I used Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated plus more to serve
- Put the water for the pasta to boil. Add some salt.
- In the meantime, in a skillet over medium heat, add half of the oil and the casabe. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Reserve.
- Cook the pasta and strain it, 2 minutes before is cooked al dente. Reserve some of the water.
- In a deep pan, add the rest of the oil, garlic, anchovies and capers, and simmer for 5-7 minutes until the garlic is wilted.
- Add the pasta to the pan with the anchovies and capers.
- Add ¼ cup of the pasta water and half of the cheese, and stir until well combined.
- Add half of the casabe crumbs and half of the parsley, and stir to combine.
- Serve with more casabe crumbs, parsley, and cheese.
Hungry for more strong flavor, midnight pasta recipes? Check these out:2