fish in the dish – tomato and anchovy pasta sauce

anchovy and onion tomato pasta sauce

This is a great sauce to accompany home-made pasta as it is not complicated so you can devote your time to the pasta. For a vegetarian or vegan version remove the anchovy and use capers and/or kalamata olives – add both if you like salty flavoured foods. It is also fab with dried packet pasta. So it’s a win-win. For an easy method to finely slice the onion, see:

For home-made pasta see: or

3 tbs olive oil

1 medium brown onion. Finely sliced

2 medium sized garlic cloves (3 if on the small side). Microplaned or finely diced.

8-10 (depending on size) anchovy fillets + 1-2 tsp of their oil from the jar (optional)

1/2-1 tbs capers. Washed. (optional)

4 whole dried chilies

1 tbs dried oregano

400g can of whole peeled tomatoes or 6-8 fresh roughly chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1 tbs white or apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp white sugar

salt + pepper to taste (remember that there are anchovies and capers which are quite salty)


Heat the oil on medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
Add the finely sliced onion. Cook until translucent. About 20-25 minutes
Add the garlic, chillies, anchovy, and anchovy oil. Give a stir with the wooden spoon.
Cook for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic.
Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Stir.
Add the vinegar and sugar. Stir.
Add the tomatoes. Stir.
If using tinned tomatoes, fill ¼ cup of water in the can, give a squish around to get all the tomato. Add. Crush the tomatoes with your wooden spoon.
Leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
If including, add the capers. Leave simmering for a few minutes.
Taste for salt and pepper.

The sauce w pasta goes really nicely topped with shaved parmesan and freshly chopped parsley.


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