Posted by Te Tui Shortland on


  • 200 grams (7 ounces) short pasta (I use fusilli or broccoli, but orecchiette would also be nice)
  • 4 generous handfuls tetragon leaves (a.k.a. New Zealand spinach)
  • a pinch chili pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 4 filets salted anchovies packed in oil, drained and quickly rinsed to remove excess salt
  • olive oil
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt, pepper
  • parmesan or pecorino, freshly grated, for serving


  • Bring salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add a good swirl of olive oil, and when hot, add the chili pepper and garlic and cook for a minute or two without colouring.
  • Add the anchovies and crush them with a wooden spoon so they'll dissolve in the olive oil.
  • Add the tetragon to the skillet, sprinkle it with a touch of nutmeg, stir, and let it soften just a little (not too much!) in the heat. Remove from the heat. (Alternatively, if you wish to blanch the tetragon because you're concerned about the oxalic acid see note above, add it to the pot of pasta during the last 30 seconds of cooking to blanch it instead of sautéing it.)
  • When the pasta is al dente, drain (not too thoroughly; keeping a little of the starchy cooking water makes it silkier) and pour into the skillet. Toss to combine over low heat and sprinkle with pepper.
  • Divide between two warmed pasta bowls, top with grated cheese, and serve immediately.


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