Caramelized Shallot Pasta

  • 6 large shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, 4 thinly sliced, 1 finely chopped
  • 1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets (about 12), drained
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) tube or (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 10 ounces pasta
  • 1 cup parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped

Pantry
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  •  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • Flaky sea salt

  1. Begin boiling water and cooking pasta until very al dente (more than usual)
  2. 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 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have become totally softened and caramelized with golden-brown fried edges.
  3. Add red-pepper flakes and anchovies. Stir to melt the anchovies into the shallots, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Stir constantly about 2 minutes to prevent 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. Remove from heat and transfer about half the mixture to a resealable container.
  5. Transfer pasta to remaining shallot mixture, and add 1 cup pasta water. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the skillet to coat each piece of pasta, until pasta is thick and sauce has reduced and is sticky, but not saucy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, combine parsley and finely chopped garlic clove, and season with flaky salt and pepper. 
  7. 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.


By Alison Roman, for NYTimes Cooking