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Pasta with Tomato, Fennel Seeds and Anchovies

4-6 Servings

20 minutes

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Salty, sweet, spicy and umami-rich, this pasta dish lets pantry ingredients do the heavy lifting. Fennel seeds and coriander are bloomed in olive oil to release their essential oils before the tomato paste is browned. We like long, strands of pasta here, but just about any pasta shape will work.




Don’t bother chopping the anchovy fillets. It’s easy to break them apart with a wooden spoon after adding them to the pot.

20 minutes


  • 1

    pound spaghetti, bucatini or linguine

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Carrie G.
February 11, 2024
My go-to pasta sauce
These ingredients are always in my pantry to I use this sauce maybe once every other week when I need to throw a quick dinner together. This sauce has a deep flavor that requires no recipe modifications -- the fennel and coriander are just delightful together. I usually use penne pasta with this sauce, but it's very versatile and surprisingly goes a long way.
Diana L.

I made this dish several times. One time I made it without anchovies and it still tasted really good. I also add at the end sliced tomatoes, pitted Kalamata olives, and mozzarella. Its delicious.

Jessica O.

I don't know if it was the tomato paste I used (I used Red Pack), but this dish turned out one-noted to me; even with the anchovies & fennel the sauce screamed, "tomato!"

Marilyn B.

I agree that this dish needs to be dressed up a bit, I followed Diana L's lead and added some Kalamata olives. Next time I might add another anchovy or 2 and sprinkle with some toasted fresh breadcrumbs. My husband and I felt the same about the dish, but he did eat 3 helpings. I've tagged it as a "pantry meal" which is always a plus.