Mark Bittman's Pasta With Garlic, Tomatoes and Anchovies

READY IN: 20mins
Recipe by Gay Gilmore

I'm an anchovy-lover. If you are one too, you will like this. If you know an anchovy-hater, don't tell them and I bet they won't even know. The anchovies completely break down into the sauce. Of course you need excellent anchovies, and that means ones that are packed in olive oil, preferably from Italy or Spain.

Top Review by Kermit in Huntsville

I am not a huge lover of anchovies, except for Ceasar Salad. My Husband, however, adores them so I thought I would give this recipe a try. Well thank you, thank you, I will be making this often. It is just the right balance of flavors. I was out of parsley so I used fresh basil and it was wonderful. A definite keeper.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it for the pasta -- you should be able to make the entire recipe as the pasta cooks.
  2. Put olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; a minute later, add garlic and chilies, if using -- cook garlic so it bubbles gently.
  3. When it is lightly browned all over, add anchovies and cook, stirring occasionally, for about a minute, until anchovies begin to fall apart, then add tomatoes.
  4. Adjust heat so tomatoes bubble nicely, and cook until mixture becomes saucy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary (taste first because the anchovies can contribute plenty of salt).
  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta until tender but not mushy. When it is done, drain it, reserving a little cooking water to thin sauce if necessary. Serve pasta with sauce and parsley.

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