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  • Writer's pictureCampbell Whitman

Marinara with Anchovies

Few people could actually taste this sauce and say after one bite, "OMG, I taste anchovies!" But many people could taste it and say, "OMG, why doesn't my homemade marinara taste like this?" To which I might answer, "I don't know....maybe the anchovies!" Anchovies give an umami sensation like you cannot believe. They melt into the sauce, disappearing in a way that is unexpected and pack it with a bright bite of obvious excellence.

Marinara with Anchovies

serves 6

280 g roughly chopped onions

20 g pressed garlic

2 kg tomatoes ("navel" removed & roughly chopped)

46 g (1 tin) anchovies + it's oil!!!

1/4 c olive oil

280-300 g spinach - very finely chopped (pulsed in a food processor)

25 g parsley - very finely chopped (pulsed in a food processor with the spinach)

2 T tomato paste

80 ml red wine

5 T heavy cream


pinch of chili flakes

1 t - 1T powdered sugar (if needed)

First sauté the onions in a pan with the olive oil on medium heat with the lid on. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add garlic, chili flakes & anchovies. Press the anchovies out a bit giving them some good contact with the heat on the bottom of the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on. Add the tomato paste and stir in order to wake up its flavors. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Cook for a minute or two. Then, add the tomatoes and the s&p. Cover, and bring to a boil. Then drop the heat to a low and simmer away for 15 minuets with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Follow that with another 15 minutes cooking time with the lid off, stirring occasionally.

As it bubbles along, it condenses it's flavors. Then purée the sauce with a normal blender or a hand blender until the chunks of tomatoes are no longer visible. I prefer puréeing this sauce because the skins of the tomatoes were not removed before cooking. Be careful when puréeing, it will be hot! Throw in the parsley, spinach & cream. Stir for a few minutes until the greens have wilted a bit. If the sauce has a slightly bitter taste that can come from canned tomatoes, add a bit of powdered sugar, mix again and check seasonings.

When serving this, be VERY generous with the sauce. You will need more than 1 cup of sauce per 100 g of pasta per person. Eat it up!


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