Like so many vegetarians, my friend Yirlean has been told she has to start eating a little iron rich meat and it has also been suggested that she needs to eat more parsley, it being a better source than spinach. It tastes good, it’s cheap.
Parsley, in fact, is one of the best things in the world you can eat. Compared with spinach, it is far higher in viamin a and c, fibre, iron and calcium. Consequently I try to eat it like a vegetable and this is my absolute favourite.
This is a simple dish and therefore, like all simple dishes, the quality of the ingredients is everything. Be warned.
Ingredients for two
2 bunches of parsley (ie one per person)
freshly chopped chilli to taste
a few cloves of local (ie not Chinese*) garlic pressed or finely chopped
good quality anchovies – maybe 6 if you are getting them from one of those small jars
good quality olive oil
good quality parmesan, at least one cup.
*should you happen to be living in China try to get export garlic…unless Chinese garlic only becomes rubbish when it is sent to the countries of the hairy barbarians.
While the spaghetti is boiling
Warm the olive oil gently and add the anchovies, crushing them into the oil. Add the garlic and chilli and take off the heat.
Chop the parsley coarsely: it’s a vegetable in this dish, not a herb. Grate the cheese.
When the spaghetti is about ready to be drained, put the sauce ingredients back on the heat and throw in the parsley, quick stir and it can sit there while the spaghetti is draining. Then toss that in, another quick stir to mix – you don’t want to cook the parsley, just wilt it a little.
Serve. Cheese and too much freshly ground black pepper: parfait.
This is a truly everyday dish and it takes all of twenty minutes. You pop the water on when you get home, and in the time the spaghetti takes to cook you have made the sauce, a salad (if you are a bunny at heart) and you’ve sat for a bit on the internet. You can’t really expect more out of dinner, can you?