Kris Yenbamroong, the chef at L.A.'s Night + Market and Night + Market Song, calls this "mall pasta" because it reminds him of the spaghetti available in the '90s-era Italian restaurants in Bangkok's shopping plazas—places where you could find spaghetti stir-fried with ketchup on the menu. He says that the holy trinity in this dish is the salty-pungent combination of fried garlic, anchovies and chile that permeates the noodles. He cautions: "Using dry pasta is crucial because a fresh noodle won't hold up to the rigors of the hot wok."
Slideshow: More Fast Pastas
4 ounces spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
One 2-ounce tin anchovies packed in oil, anchovies finely chopped and oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic plus 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
1 tablespoon minced Thai bird chile with seeds
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons whole pink peppercorns
Pinch of ground white pepper
1/4 cup torn basil leaves, plus small whole leaves for garnish
How to Make It
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
In a wok, heat the olive oil. Add the anchovies, anchovy oil, minced garlic, chile and bell pepper and stir-fry over moderately high heat until the bell pepper is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta, reserved pasta water, oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar and cook, tossing, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the sliced garlic, pink peppercorns, white pepper and torn basil leaves and toss. Serve topped with whole basil leaves.
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