Tomato Sauce with Anchovies


28 oz canned whole tomatoes, crushed*
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
10 anchovy filets, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lb fun pasta of your choice, cooked and drained


In a medium pot, saute garlic in olive oil until just golden. Remove from heat. Add anchovies and mash the two together with the back of a wooden spoon. Then add the pepper flakes and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt. Continue to cook 20-30 minutes or until the tomatoes and olive oil has combined. There may be a slight film of oil on top. This is normal. Add the parsley and cook an additional 5 minutes. Toss with pasta and serve with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan.

*Pour tomatoes into a bowl and crush by hand.

My thoughts:

My husband is from Staten Island (NYC) where there is a large Italian population. Right near his parent’s house there is this amazing Italian grocery that makes their own mozzarella, salads, sauces, pastas and bread. Whenever we are in town we always stock up on goodies like anchovies packed in olive oil, unusual pastas, vats of olive oil and other hard to find imported goodies. Since it’s summer, we had to stick to nonperishables this visit but we did bring home some delicious packed-in-Italy canned tomatoes and some wonderful freshly made Italian bread. Only a couple hours after making the 3 1/2 hour drive back to Baltimore, my husband made this yummy sauce using the tomatoes. It’s really quick and easy to make and goes wonderfully with some good Italian bread. It’s also not fishy for those of you who are afraid of anchovies. They melt right into the sauce and add a wonderful depth of flavor with no fish taste. I like using lots of fresh parsley in tomato sauces, especially when using canned tomatoes. It really makes the sauce taste fresh in a way that is often hard to accomplish with canned tomatoes. It is also a good idea to use the highest quality of canned tomatoes possible.


  1. We put sardines in our tomato sauce too – I guess does give it ‘that extra something’ although I can’t for the life of me figure out why. 🙂

  2. That looks scrumptious. I like Anchovies and this looks like a great recipe. I miss having a good home made sauce. Thanks!!!

  3. I’m going to give this a shot! It looks totally yummy.

  4. This sauce is really good, I’ve mad it twice. I have had a similar sauce in restaurants before called Puttanesca, it is flavored with anchovies, however, olives and capers are added. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Wonderful sauce, I made this today using fresh tomatoes and basil since I didn’t have parsley. Thank you for the recipe.