St John's Eve Pasta

St John's Eve Pasta

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3/4 cups sliced blanched almonds
1/2 cup evoo
2 cup fresh bread crumbs
4 salt-packed anchovies, filleted, rinsed, and chopped
1 onion finely, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 pound lasagnette or pappardelle


Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
Meanwhile, in a 10-inch sauté pan, gently toast the almonds in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat until golden brown.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the almonds to a plate. In the oil remaining in the pan, toast the bread crumbs, stirring, until golden brown and crisp. Combine the bread crumbs and almonds in a small bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons more olive to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the anchovies and crush them into the oil with a fork. Add the anchovies and oil to the bread crumb mixture and season with lots of black pepper. Set aside.
Add the remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil to the pan, add the onion and garlic, and coo gently until softened but not browned.  Add the tomato sauce, being to a brisk simmer, and cook until the sauce has reduced by one-third. Add the basil, remove from the heat, and set aside.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain the past well, and toss into the pan with the sauce. Add half of the bread crumb mixture and toss to mix well.
Transfer the pasta to a warmed serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumb mixture over the top, and serve immediately.