Saturday, February 28, 2015

Anchovy and red wine pasta

            I know many recipes look so great, taste delicious, and claim that they are easy to make. But when you actually start cooking, you suddenly realize how easy the recipe is to mess up to a point, which cannot be undone even with the help of Martha Stewart herself. So, when I actually tested a recipe that tastes great, and yet takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, I cherish it like a thousand dollar Swarovski glass piece. This anchovy and red wine vegetable pasta recipe is my go-to recipe whenever I want to experience my solitary indulgence without putting in much effort.
            Four simple ingredients make up the quick yet delicious sauce for this pasta recipe – anchovy, tomato, brown sugar and wine. Words cannot describe how much I love the fishy and salty combination of anchovy fillets. Better yet, when you cook with anchovies in pasta, such as this recipe, the fillets completely disintegrate into the sauce and the fishy note turns into the gorgeous savory nuttiness. If anchovies were cheap, I would probably put them in almost all my savory recipes. Another of my favorite trios are tomato, port wine and brown sugar. I always put in brown sugar whenever I cook with tomatoes. It just tones down the tartness of the tomato while bringing out a more savory side of the vegetable. When combined with anchovies, these three fundamental ingredients suddenly turn into delicious red sauce. You should not be ashamed of trying the sauce on almost anything. In addition to pasta, I personally have tried on meat, potatoes and even on rice.
            This recipe is such a treat for me. I usually make it two servings and devour all myself in one sitting,…straight from the pan. The only right way to eat pasta is with a genuine smile and greedy appetite.


  • 4 oz. of pasta
  • 2 big cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 0.5 oz. or three fillets of anchovy fillets
  • Half of a medium-sized onion (sliced thinly)
  • 2 plum tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 carrots (cut into strips)
  • ½ cup of port wine
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of oil reserved from anchovy fillet cans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup of cilantro (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper


-       Cook the pasta according to the package instruction. But, please do me a huge favor and salt your pasta water.
-       Heat up the oil and sauté the anchovy fillets until they fully dissolve in the oil.
-       Add in garlic, onions and tomatoes and cook until onions get soft and tomatoes are fully disintegrated about 15 minutes.
-       Add in port wine and carrots, and cook on high until alcohol is evaporated (about 5 minutes).
-       Add in pasta to the pan and mix thoroughly, and remove from even the slightest hint of the heat.
-       In a big serving bowl, beat the egg. Add in pasta mixture and mix thoroughly.
-       Add in cheese and cilantro and mix again.
-       Adjust salt and pepper for taste.



  1. Sounds awesome :D question- does the egg cook fully in the serving bowl just from the heat of the pasta? (.....had to ask, you know they teach us to be scared of eggs in med school :P)

    1. Great to hear from you Yijung. That’s a great question. Yes, the egg will cook. Water boils at 212, and the pasta temperature will more less will be the same. The egg requires 160 degree to fully cook (according to FDA). Since you are breaking up a single egg in a mountain of pasta immediately after straining from the boiling water, the egg will be cooked, and the pasta is, indeed, safe to eat. In fact, this method of using raw eggs in pasta dish is quite common throughout Italy, such as cabonara, and there has not been any breakouts of Salmonella infection. If one’s concerned though, they can use pasteurized eggs, which work very well as well.

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