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Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta

This was the number 1 recipe on NYT Cooking this year. One of the best things to come out of this cursed year, TBH. And it's #1 for a good freakin' reason. It's savory, spicy, umami, and has the perfect amount of acid to balance it out. Alison Roman's caramelized shallot pasta recipe will make about 5-6 servings of pasta (plus leftover jammy goodness for another batch later) in about 30 minutes.

When cooking a new dish, I usually follow a recipe to T and adjust at the end to my preference. Or I do something new altogether for the next time. Not for this recipe. As one of my favorite TV characters, would say, "NO NOTES!" I've made this dish several times, and not once has it needed a tweak.

Pros of this recipe:

- Uses pantry staples and shelf-stable ingredients

- Super easy with a little bit of patience

- Makes extra shallot/tomato jam for later

- Tomato/shallot jam can be used on lots of stuff

- Even though it has a whole tin of anchovies, it does NOT taste fishy. (Not that fishy taste is a bad thing, but don't get me started on that.)

- Tastes GOOD, ok???

Cons of this recipe:

Long story short, it's damn good. There aren't many recipes on the web that I don't doctor with some fish sauce or apple cider vinegar, and this is one of them.

*Apologies in advance for the poor lighting. I made this in the evening and didn't have natural light. F you, daylight savings!!!!!

Am I the only one obsessed with how cute the anchovy tin is?!!?


  1. 1/4 cup olive oil

  2. 6 large shallots, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)

  3. 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  4. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  5. Salt and pepper, to taste

  6. 2 oz can anchovy filets, drained (anchovy paste is good, too)

  7. 6 oz can tomato paste

  8. 1 lb box pasta (I used bucatini)

Optional garnish

  1. 1 cup minced parsley

  2. 1 cloved garlic, finely minced

  3. 1 teaspoon flakey salt


  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add and sauté the shallots and garlic. Constantly stir until the edges of shallots are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Now is NOT the time to be impatient... the caramelization is worth it!

  2. Add the whole anchovy filets and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring until the anchovies melt on their own, about 2-3 more minutes.

  3. Add in the can of tomato paste. Be careful not to scorch the ingredients and stir constantly for 2 minutes. The tomato paste should darken to a brick red color.

  4. Turn off the heat and scoop out half of the jammy goodness. It will keep for 6 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.

  5. In a separate pot, boil the pasta about 2 minutes short al dente. Save about 2 cups of pasta water! You know the drill. Salt the water, bring to a boil, cook to package directions, etc. etc.

  6. If using the garnish, toss the parsley, minced garlic, and flaky salt together in a bowl and set aside.

  7. Add the cooked pasta back to the jammy pot. Slowly pour in the pasta water as you mix, about a 1/4 cup at a time. The pasta water helps the sauce from getting too sticky. I ended up using about 1 1/2 cups.

  8. Serve and garnish!

I love you, shallot pasta. Like... I love LOVE you.

BRB putting this jam on everything I eat.

- L

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