Ever since my friend Sandy posted this recipe on her own blog, it's become a weeknight classic for us. No health food, this, but it is quick and addictive with notes of sharp romano cheese, fresh basil and the rich umami goodness of anchovies and bacon. I find this serves three — two for dinner and one lunch the next day.
1. Boil a pound of spaghetti al dente, drain and reserve a little of the cooking water. Meanwhile, peel a whole head of garlic and pulse it the food processor with a small jar of anchovy fillets and its oil.
2. Dice four strips of bacon, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and saute until crisp. If it releases excessive fat, spoon some off. Lower the heat, add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook a few minutes until the garlic browns.
3. Now stir in the spaghetti and a bit of the cooking water to help it all meld. Serve topped with grated romano and fresh torn basil.