Shallot Pasta

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Serves 4


¼ cup olive oil
6 large shallots, very thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, 4 thinly sliced, 1 finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tsp chilli flakes, plus more to taste
50g – that’s 12 or about half a jar, anchovy fillets, drained
170g tomato paste
Pasta of your choice, we love spaghetti for this
1 cup parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
Flaky sea salt


This pasta is all about the shallots, cooked down in a bath of olive oil to a jammy, caramelised paste. Tomato paste is there for tanginess, and anchovies for saltiness, but they serve more as background flavours to the sweetness of the shallot. This recipe makes enough shallot mixture for a double batch of pasta, or simply keep it in the fridge to spoon over fried eggs, or to serve underneath crispy chicken thighs or over roasted root vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes.


Shallot Pasta

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Add shallots and thinly sliced garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have become totally softened and caramelised with golden-brown fried edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

Add chilli flakes and anchovies, (no need to chop the anchovies; they will dissolve on their own). Stir to melt the anchovies into the shallots, about 2 minutes.

Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent any scorching, until the tomato paste has started to cook in the oil a bit, caramelising at the edges and going from bright red to a deeper brick red colour, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer about half the mixture to a resealable container, leaving the rest behind. (These are your leftovers to be used elsewhere: in another batch of pasta or smeared onto roasted vegetables, spooned over fried eggs or spread underneath crispy chicken thighs.)

To serve, cook pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until very al dente (perhaps more al dente than usual). Transfer to pan with remaining shallot mixture and 1 cup pasta water. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the skillet to coat each piece of pasta, using a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits on the bottom, until pasta is thick and sauce has reduced and is sticky, but not saucy, 3 to 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine parsley and finely chopped garlic clove, and season with flaky salt and pepper. 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.




Hints and Tips

This recipe is by Alison Roman


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    1. We’ve never experienced the dreaded garlic acridity with this recipe. Note that you cook it together over a medium heat, so we’re not sizzling the ingredients to a frizzle but rather, gently caramelising them. Another top tip would be to add the shallots and garlic with the oil to a cold pan – then gently warm them up to medium heat before the caramelisation process (that’s a Marcella Hazan hack!). We hope that helps!