Alison’s Caramelized Shallot Pasta

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We blog about this recipe here.

Alison's Caramelized Shallot Pasta

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 6 large shallots, very thinly sliced (I had about 2 c of sliced shallots)
  • 5 garlic cloves, 4 thinly sliced, 1 minced
  •  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets (about 12), drained
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste 
  • 10 oz pasta – we like spaghetti
  • 1 c parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium high. Add shallots and thinly sliced garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have become totally softened and caramelized with golden-brown fried edges, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add red-pepper flakes and anchovies. (No need to chop the anchovies; they will dissolve on their own.) Stir to melt the anchovies into the shallots, about 2 minutes.

Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent any scorching, until the tomato paste has started to cook in the oil a bit, caramelizing at the edges and going from bright red to a deeper brick red color, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.  You are going to use only 1/2 of this mixture – so transfer the other half to a resealable container. (These leftovers can be used in another batch of pasta or smeared onto roasted vegetables, spooned over fried eggs or spread underneath crispy chicken thighs.  (Note from Ann: You might need to add a bit of water to get the sauce to the consistency you need.  And less is better than more.  It’s an intense sauce.)

Cook pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente.  Drain, reserving 1 c of pasta water.

Add the pasta to the shallot mixture and the 1 cup of pasta water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring to coat each piece of pasta, using a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits on the bottom, until pasta is thick and sauce has reduced – 3 to 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine parsley and minced garlic clove, and season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta among bowls, or transfer to one large serving bowl, and top with parsley mixture and a bit more red-pepper flakes, if you like.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.

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