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This umami-rich pasta sauce gets extra depth from roasted cherry tomatoes

Rigatoni with Cherry Tomatoes and Anchovies

Appears in March-April 2022

30 minutes

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Rigatoni with Cherry Tomatoes and Anchovies

At Osteria ai Promessi Sposi in Venice, Italy, chef Claudio Furlanis taught us how to make a dish of his own creation—pasta tossed with cherry tomatoes, sautéed onion and anchovies. Furlanis briefly roasted the tomatoes to render them soft and juicy and to concentrate their flavor before introducing them to the other ingredients. The umami quotient was deliciously high from the tomatoes and anchovies, and with the sauce cooked into the pasta until the noodles were perfectly al dente, each bite was extraordinarily satisfying and flavor-filled. This recipe is our adaptation of his dish. We swapped rigatoni or ziti for the very large, short, tube-shaped noodles we had in Venice and added some garlic and pepper flakes for a little pungency. We also like to finish the pasta with grated Parmesan.

4 to 6



Don’t use more than 6 cups of water to boil the pasta. The amount is scant, but intentionally so in order to create a starchy liquid to use later, when saucing the noodles. Also, be sure to drain the pasta when it’s shy of al dente. It will finish cooking directly in the sauce, where it absorbs lots of flavor.

30 minutes

September 18, 2022
Nice little Sunday dinner
We liked this but I had a hard time bursting the tomatoes. I’ll try again
Diana L.

I made this tonight. It was ok .. not great. It was easy to make. I like the idea of having small tomatoes broil in the oven. Thanks for the recipe.

diane d.

how long did you cook the pasta originally

Lynn C.

Hi Diane -

Cooking time for the pasta is going to depend on if you are using rigatoni, ziti or mezze rigati, which are all suggested pasta types for this recipe, but will all have slightly different cooking times. Instead we use a clue, "just shy of al dente," to indicate doneness. Just pull out a piece of pasta and taste. If it's just slightly undercooked and, when cut in half there is a small dot of uncooked pasta in the center, it's just shy of al dente. Hope that helps!

The Milk Street Team

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