Pasta, tomatoes, anchovies, spices, and extra virgin olive oil: a fuss-free pasta sauce recipe and a demonstration that with simple and good quality ingredients you don’t need much to create a delicious meal.
I love meals that are easy to make, have a reasonable list of ingredients, and include some of my kitchen’s staples; even better if they are also rich in nutrients. This homemade pasta sauce ticks all the boxes and will satisfy even the most demanding palates with its simplicity.
SOME DETAILS ABOUT THIS PASTA SAUCE:
- ANCHOVIES: they truly are the perfect addition to pasta or pizza not only in terms of flavour but also for their nutrients. An oily fish with a strong taste, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, and selenium.
- TOMATOES: if you have been following this blog and my social media pages for a while now, you know I’m an advocate of choosing as much as possible seasonal foods. This recipe is a wonderful way to use ripe tomatoes during Summer – choose baby plum tomatoes (datterini) if you can find them because cherry tomatoes are simply not the same thing. Baby plum tomatoes are my go-to choice for pasta: whether you decide to use them raw, roasted, or sautéed, you won’t be disappointed by their consistency and taste. When datterini are not available, opt for sun-dried tomatoes: there’s no need to re-hydrate them before cooking because this step will happen while the sauce is bubbling away.
- PASTA: to get the most out of this recipe, choose a short-cut pasta. Here I’ve used some whole grain penne, but fusilli or rigatoni would be delicious, too. You are looking for something with a rough surface to welcome your tasty homemade pasta sauce! Choose a gluten-free option if necessary.
PASTA WITH TOMATOES AND ANCHOVIES
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 160 g whole grain pasta
- 200 ml tomato passata
- 100 g ripe baby plum tomatoes (datterini)
- 8-10 anchovies
- 1/3 tsp black pepper (better if freshly grounded)
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3-4 leaves of fresh basil or mint
- extra virgin olive oil
Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to the instructions on the package. In the meantime, prepare the sauce: in a pan, mix the anchovies (break them into smaller pieces with your hands or using a fork), the tomato passata, 3/4 of the plum tomatoes (chopped in half), and the spices. Warm up the sauce and add a bit of cooking water from the pasta when necessary (add just 1 o 2 tbsp each time – the final result should be creamy, not watery). The sauce will be ready in the same time that takes to the pasta to cook. When the pasta will be ready, add it (drained and cooked “al dente”) in the pan with the sauce – add the remaining part of plum tomatoes (chopped in half) and mix well for approx. 30 seconds. Serve with some fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
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