Recipe: Storecupboard pasta sauce

I may have a mortgage and manage big budgets (unfortunately not my own), but Monday night is always spaghetti night. The only fitting reward for bravely saying goodbye to the weekend is carbs, carbs, carbs.

This is a stupidly simple lil’ something that you can throw together while the pasta is cooking – pretty much everything in here is a fridge or cupboard staple.

The anchovies here are the secret weapon, giving the meaty umami taste to the rest of the sauce. I like fresh chili to add zip to the anchovy saltiness, but dried will work fine.

Storecupboard pasta sauce


4 x salted anchovy fillets, chopped

1 x fat clove of garlic, chopped

1/2 red chili, chopped

1 x tin good quality chopped tomatoes

Salt and pepper

Pasta (works equally well with spaghetti or short pasta like penne)

Fresh basil leaves to serve


  1. In a little medium olive oil, fry the garlic, anchovies and chili until the anchovies have started to break up and before the garlic starts to turn
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for around ten minutes until reduced to your desired consistency
  3. Season and toss with your favourite cooked pasta
  4. Top with torn fresh basil and serve immediately

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