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Super Side for Spaghetti: Anchovy Butter Cheese Toasts

Don't get me wrong, I love garlic bread. There is something about toasted bread, melted butter and infused garlic that I can't resist. However for many reasons, sometimes I don't feel like eating garlic bread. Maybe it's because I don't want my hands to smell like garlic or my breath to stink when my husband comes in for a kiss. Whatever the reason, when I'm not in the mood for garlic bread I make a simple anchovy cheese toast. It's a great substitution due to the same crispy goodness and warm melting yumminess.

Don't get scared by the anchovies in this recipe's name. I've made these toasts more than once for my mom and she HATES anchovies. I told her they were called cheesy toasts and she has been insisting on these instead of garlic bread ever since. The fishy taste gets cooked out making them an ideal side for pasta for even the most pickiest of eaters. For the recipe,

Giada De Laurentiis

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
4 anchovy fillets, drained, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
12 (2 by 1/3-inch thick) slices rustic crusty white bread
1 cup grated Provolone

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy small skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the anchovies and stir until they dissolve, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the herbs, garlic, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper.
  5. Arrange the bread slices on a large baking sheet. Brush with the anchovy mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  7. Bake until the cheese melts and the bread is golden, about 10 minutes.
  8. Cut the bread slices in halves and serve.

Makes 24 toasts.

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