Monday, July 27, 2009

Sharon's Anchovy Pasta

Today I share with you the first dish I ever learned how to make, and one of my favorite comfort foods. It reminds me of hot summer days when I was a kid, when our whole family would remain outdoors until the sun set, then come in, tired and sweaty, wanting to eat immediately.

The dish is easy, there’s no real recipe, and you’ve probably got all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. (…whoah.)

Do you have garlic, fresh basil and fresh tomatoes? If so, you’re set in terms of fresh ingredients.
(I suspect all of you know what garlic, fresh basil and tomatoes look like. But I’m particularly fond of this photo, so I’m throwing it in.)

Do you have pasta? Any old pasta will do, but I prefer angel hair in this case. What about anchovies? Awwww, don’t make that face. Anchovies are awesome! They add a smooth, salty finish, and fuse with the tomatoes to take away some of the fishiness. And don’t get fancy-schmancy—those $1 tins at the supermarket are fine (I like the flat fillets packed in oil).

OK, you’re ready. Behold...

....Sharon’s Anchovy Pasta! (That’s right Mom, I’m taking all the glory for this one):

Boil angel hair pasta (about a box, maybe a little less). While it is boiling, saute a few cloves of chopped garlic in extra virgin olive oil, then add some chopped tomatoes. Add the pasta, and then add one tin of anchovies (the oil in the tin makes for a nice sauce). Toss until well mixed. I prefer to add two cans of anchovies for the flavor and the oil, but test as you go—two might be too fishy for you (at first). If you don’t want to add two cans of anchovies, just add a little extra extra virgin olive oil so the pasta doesn’t get too dry. Add a few leaves of fresh basil, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Done!
Give my pasta a try (seriously, carbonara’s got nothing on this dish). And if you don’t like it, what have you wasted? About six minutes of your time and $5 in ingredients? It’s still my go-to dish when I come home late and don’t feel like cooking. And I still crave it when I do feel like cooking.


  1. I really was making a face as I read, "Awww, don't make that face." Funny way to start my day! Thanks!

  2. Chillin Dad says: One of my favorites as well...

  3. Good call. Simple. Fresh. Seasonal. Hell, they're even sustainable if you want to hop onto the trendy tree-hugging food bandwagon :)

  4. I stole your recipe and named it Pasta Anchovie ala Sharone (with an accent!)

  5. I meant to say the anchovies are sustainable (of course).