Caramelised shallot pasta with olives

Caramelised shallot pasta with olives

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  • 4 greedy ones
  • Easy
  • Dairy free Health conscious
  • 15 minutes
  • 30–35 minutes

“I was introduced to this Alison Roman-inspired recipe by my friend Jocelyn, who said it’s like tamatiesmoor on pasta. She’s right – it’s a nice cultural crossover.” – Sam Woulidge


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 10 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 15–16 (about 1 kg) shallots , finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 100 g anchovy fillets, well-drained
  • 2 t chilli flakes (optional, I like it but kids may not)
  • 200 g pitted olives (also optional, nice but not necessary)
  • 280 g (2 x 140 g tubes) tomato paste
  • 500 g pasta of your choice (I went with spaghetti)

Cooking Instructions

1. Place the olive oil, garlic and shallots and some salt and pepper in a heavy-based saucepan and simmer over a low to medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the shallots are deliciously caramelised. Keep a careful eye on them, giving them a good stir every now and then so they don’t burn.

2. Add the anchovies and allow to melt into the shallots. This should take about 3 minutes. Add the chilli flakes and olives if using.

3. Add the tomato paste, season, and simmer while you stir for a further 3–4 minutes until the tomato paste has turned a warm rusty red. Set aside.

4. Prepare the pasta according to package instructions and, once done, set aside 1 cup pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the pan of sauce, then add the pasta water. Strictly speaking, this is not necessary but it’s an Italian culinary trick and it does make the sauce nice and silky. I would recommend doing so.

ALSO READ: The pasta boy: pasta inspired by holidays with my son

Find more pasta recipes here. 

Photograph: Jan Ras
Production:  Bianca Strydom 
Food assistant: Ellah Maepa 

Sam Woulidge Recipe by: Sam Woulidge
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Cape Town-based writer Sam Woulidge is a regular TASTE columnist, blogger and author of 'Confessions of a Hungry Woman'. Follow her on Twitter @samwoulidge

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