Pasta with Tomato, Fennel Seeds and Anchovies | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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This jammy pantry ingredient creates a deeply flavorful sauce in minutes
Milk Street Bowtie Pasta with Tomato, Fennel Seeds and Anchovies

Pasta with Tomato, Fennel Seeds and Anchovies

20 minutes

Pasta with Tomato, Fennel Seeds and Anchovies

Free

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.

4-6

Servings

Tip

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
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 ounce can tomato paste (⅔ cup)
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, patted dry
1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
Ingredients
  • 1

    pound spaghetti, bucatini or linguine

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 3

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

  • 2

    teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 1

    teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½
  • 6

    ounce can tomato paste (⅔ cup)

  • 2

    oil-packed anchovy fillets, patted dry

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

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Pasta with Tomato, Fennel Seeds and Anchovies

Get Ready to Cook

4-6

Servings

20 minutes

Tip

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

Ingredients
  • 1

    pound spaghetti, bucatini or linguine

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 3

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

  • 2

    teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 1

    teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½
  • 6

    ounce can tomato paste (⅔ cup)

  • 2

    oil-packed anchovy fillets, patted dry

  • 1

    cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

Step 1 of 4

Cook Pasta

1
pound spaghetti, bucatini or linguine
Kosher salt

In a Dutch oven, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and 2 tablespoons salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain and set aside.

Step 2 of 4

Combine Ingredients In Pot

3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2
teaspoons fennel seeds
1
teaspoon ground coriander
½
teaspoon red pepper flakes
6
ounce can tomato paste (⅔ cup)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In the same pot over medium-high, combine the oil, fennel seeds, coriander and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until the seeds are sizzling and the mixture is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper, then cook, stirring often, until the paste browns and slightly sticks to the pot, 1 to 3 minutes.

Step 3 of 4

Add Anchovies

2
oil-packed anchovy fillets, patted dry

Add the anchovies and cook, breaking the fillets into small bits, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and scrape up the browned bits, then add the pasta and cook over medium-low, tossing to coat the noodles, until the pasta is al dente, about another 2 minutes; add more reserved water as needed so the pasta is silky and lightly sauced.

Step 4 of 4

Taste, Season and Seve

1
cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil to serve

Off heat, toss in the parsley (if using), then taste and season with salt and black pepper. Serve drizzled with additional oil.

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