Provencal Pasta With Basil and Anchovy

Total Time
Prep 25 mins
Cook 0 mins

This lovely dish -- Pates au Pistou a l'Anchois -- is by way of Richard Olney in "Lulu's Provencal Kitchen." It is a not uncommon way to serve pasta in the south of France where, as here in the States, most dried pasta is imported from Italy.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a full boil and add the pastam cooking tll al dente (for penne, about 12 minutes).
  2. On a cutting board, sprinkle the crushed garlic cloves with the salt and pepper.
  3. Using the back of a fork, mash the garlic into a paste.
  4. Add the anchovies and keep mashing.
  5. Scrape the paste into a mortar, add the basil, and begin pounding with a wooden pestle until the mixture resembles a puree.
  6. Now, add the oil slowly, pounding all the while with your pestle.
  7. Note: You can do this in a blender or food processor, but purists (like myself) will tell you that the pistou will not taste or look the same if the basil is chopped with a blade.
  8. When your pasta is ready, place your serving bowl (heat-proof)in the sink.
  9. Drain your pasta, allowing the pasta water to warm your serving bowl.
  10. Place the pasta in the bowl, add the pistou and toss well.
  11. Serve accompanied by freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Most Helpful

My husband said to give this dish a 5+. He is an anchovy lover, while I can take them or leave them. However, I can truthfully say that you would NEVER know that anchovies are in this dish. I followed the directions to a T, but my husband wants me to put in capers next time. Thanks for the great recipe, Kate.

Irish Rose July 13, 2007

My DH & DS are anchovy haters and had no idea they were eating this and still don`t. I used jarred basil couldn`t get fresh and was out of my frozen. I did add fresh parsley. Thanks for a great easy recipe!

Rita~ February 24, 2006