Pasta with tomatoes and anchovy butter is an easy a flavorful weeknight pasta dish that anyone can throw together. I mean how can it not be good, pasta in a tomato butter sauce!
It’s amazing how 1 simple ingredient can elevate the flavors of a dish you always make. In this recipe it is anchovies. Not too much but just enough to give the sauce a wonderful depth of flavor.
This pasta is a great quick weeknight dish that can be made in under 30 minutes. For my family, that is faster than we could order takeout and honestly, the takeout would not be this good.
You can easily make this dish without the anchovies if you are really offended by their flavor. Although I make this dish all the time without the anchovies, after trying it this way, I think I may stick to this version. My kiddos (and I) where skeptical at first but everyone really enjoyed it!
When making a simple pasta dish like this one with a light sauce, it is important to remember to scoop out a giant mug full of pasta water before your drain the cooked pasta. This pasta water is full of delicious starch and salt that will help build the sauce up later.
This water also allows you to stop the pasta from drying out once you add it tot he sauce. The pasta will always continue to drink up liquids and if the sauce has nothing left then you would be left with a dry pasta.
So, always grab a big coffee mug for pasta dishes like this one and reserve some of that good pasta water just in case. The worst that could happen is you don’t end up using it.
If you are looking for more quick weeknight dishes, you might like:
Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Anchovy Butter
- 1 lb spaghetti 1 box
- 4 tbsp ½ stick unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 anchovy fillet packed in oil drained
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 pounds medium tomatoes quartered about 4-5 medium tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 cup Chopped tender herbs I like Italian flat-leaf parsley and/ fresh chives
- Freshly grated Parmesan for serving
- Cook spaghetti according to the box instructions for al dente
- Meanwhile, heat your butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook your anchovy and garlic, until anchovies are broken down and garlic is soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add your tomatoes and season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8–10 minutes.
- At this point, check your pasta and then drain when ready, making sure to reserve about ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
- Add your pasta to the saute pan with sauce and also add 1/2 of your reserved pasta water and turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
- Cook until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
- Check to see if pasta looks dry. If all the sauce was absorbed, add a little more of the reserved pasta water.
- Toss in your herbs.
- Add freshly grated Parmesan and enjoy!