Roma Tomato Sauce with Anchovy and Garlic



Serves 2-3

  • 10 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 anchovies, finely chopped (I use jarred, oil-cured anchovies)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • Parmigiano Reggiano


Fill a large pot with water for your pasta and turn the heat on high. While your pasta water is coming to a boil, prepare the Roma tomatoes and sauce.

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water, score the bottom of each tomato for easy peeling (make a small x with a pairing knife at the end). Using a slotted spoon, plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for no more than a minute, or until the skins are just loosened. Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water to shock them and stop the cooking process. As soon as they are cool enough to touch, remove them from the water and peel the skin off. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds and core. Dice and set aside.

In a saucepan big enough to toss the pasta in, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, the anchovy, and garlic over medium heat for a minute or two until fragrant but don’t let the garlic turn brown or burn. Add the tomatoes, a pinch of sea salt, and some black pepper. Cook on medium-low for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Taste. Season with more sea salt and black pepper if necessary.

Once the pasta water is boiling, generously salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente. Once the spaghetti is finished cooking, scoop it out of the pasta water and put it directly into the pan with the Roma tomato sauce. Stir to coat, adding pasta water if necessary.

Divide the pasta between 2-3 bowls, top with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, some black pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.