Super Simple Savory Anchovy Sauce

I have to be honest with you. Anchovies were something that I had never eaten before I moved to Italy, and even after I had moved here, I shied away from eating them any time they were presented. Now, I don’t know why exactly, maybe too many movies where a family ordered pizza and loudly declared ‘but NO anchovies!’. Could be. I didn’t even have an idea of what they tasted like, what their texture would feel like, whether or not I could like them. Oh well.

Enter major life change and move to Italy.

Now, after having shed most of my assumptions and misconceptions of anchovies, I eat them readily. Acciughe alla povera, pasta col acciughe, pizza col acciughe. You name it, I’ll try it.

All of this isn’t to show you how much I’ve developed my palate now, it’s to share with you that anchovies have gotten a bum wrap over the years that is completely undeserved! They’re good for you, healthy, and in the right conditions, you might find yourself craving them every now and then. If anything, this recipe is so cheap that even if you give it a shot one time and then decide it wasn’t for you, you won’t be out more than a couple bucks. šŸ˜‰

You can add this sauce to any pasta you prefer.


Super Simple Savory Anchovy Sauce
Serves 3
Don't be so quick to turn up your nose at the idea of anchovies. I was, and I almost missed out on this delectably simple sauce. Quick to make and the ingredients are easy to find and affordable!
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 jar anchovies in oil - 500 ml, Garlic - one clove, Tomato pulp - 1 small can or jar 500ml, EVOO - 2 tablespoons, Hot pepper - optional
  1. 1. Take a medium saucepan put the EVOO into it. Turn on your stove to a medium to low heat.
  2. 2. Peel the garlic then add it to the already warmed olive oil.
  3. 3. Once the garlic and oil begin to be fragrant, add the jar of anchovies. Don't add in ALL the oil from the jar.
  4. 4. Leave the garlic, oil, and anchovies over the fire for a little while, until you see the anchovies starting to dissolve.
  5. 5. Add the entire can of tomato sauce.
  6. 6. Stir occasionally until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. This is entirely up to you.
  1. My secret: One of the things that I like to do is to add some of the oil from the anchovy jar into the sauce. This adds a little bit of extra salty flavor and keeps the sauce at a nice texture.
  2. Extra tip: If you want your sauce to be a bit spicy and you're using a dried hot pepper, add it in at the same time as the garlic (step 2). If you are using hot pepper in powder form, add it in just before you think the sauce will be ready so you can adjust for heat as the pepper will get spicier the longer you leave it in the sauce.
  3. When you start making your pasta my advice is to NOT salt your water too much as this sauce is pretty salty on its own. I like to taste the sauce as I'm going to control for saltiness and because I'm not a huge salt lover I've never added any additional salt to the sauce though that's entirely up to you.
Spoiled Expat