A little fish from Spain, a little sauce from Italy, a little bread from the bakery down the street. You have yourself a tapa.
The sauce for Pasta Milanese last night becomes a perfect tapa topping the next, a harmonious combination of spicy red pepper flakes, sweet tomatoes, and salty Cantabrian anchovy fillets.
Total Time: an hour last night, but tonight just the amount of time it takes to grab it from the refrigerator and slice up the bread.
1. We used an adaptation of a recipe by chef Nick Lama of Avo in New Orleans from the Wall Street Journal (subscription maybe required). For the details, please see the article.
2. Basically, you're putting a few anchovies, olive oil, onion, fennel, and garlic in a pot until golden, then adding fennel seed, black and red pepper, then some white wine, followed by hand-crushed (very satisfying) tomatoes. Simmer and stir for 45 minutes or so.
3. Put it in the fridge over night.
4. For the tapa, simply put a heaping spoonful on fresh crusty bread or toast, and artfully place Cantabrian anchovy fillets on top of that heaping spoonful. Toasted breadcrumbs go on top of that.
A meal one night, an appetizer the next. Not a bad deal.