Caramelised Shallot Pasta

This simple Caramelised Shallot Pasta recipe packs a huge flavour punch with just a few store cupboard staples. 

I stumbled upon this brilliant recipe from the equality brilliant Alison Roman on the New York Times website and I’ve made it almost weekly ever since. 

It’s intensely savoury and I love it because you can make it in advance and store it in the fridge for those days when even cooking a pasta sauce is too much effort.

Think of this as a pasta sauce concentrate. One batch makes enough for a couple of meals. It’s delicious spread over roasted vegetables and also good served alongside chicken or a robust white fish.

You can store it in the fridge for up to 7 days, I decant mine into a mason jar and I top it up with good quality olive oil which prolongs its life. Use what you need and keep topping with oil as you go and it will last longer. 


  • A good drizzle of olive oil
  • 6 large shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  •  Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes 
  • 1 tin of anchovies 
  • 1 tube of tomato purée 
  • 1 pack of dried pasta
  • For the topping: parsley, leaves and stems, 1 garlic clove finely chopped. Flaky sea salt and bread crumbs 


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan, add shallots and thinly sliced garlic then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots become soft and caramelised.
  2. Add chilli flakes and anchovies. Stir to melt the anchovies into the shallots. The depth of flavour from these little fish will blow you away and I promise that your dish will not taste fishy!  
  3. Add the tomato purée and season with salt and pepper then lower the heat and stir constantly to avoid burning, until the tomato paste has started to cook in the oil a bit. I usually add a splash of water if it looks too dry.  
  4. Remove from heat and transfer about half the mixture to a resealable container, leaving the rest behind (this is the half you can keep for use at a later date. 
  5. To serve, cook pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water and set aside 1 cup of pasta water. Drain the remainder using a colander and transfer to the pan with the shallot sauce. 
  6. Stir the pasta and the sauce together with a spatula or a wooden spoon, adding a little of the pasta water as you go until the pasta is completely coated. Keep an eye on how much water you add as we don’t want this to be a very wet sauce. 

Now for the topping: This fresh garlicky parsley mixture is a game changer, ignore this step at your peril! Finely chop the parsley and the garlic clove. Combine in a small bowl with a pinch of flaky salt. 

Serve the pasta in individual bowls and sprinkle some parsley topping on each one. Enjoy with a glass of wine!

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