Despite a humble ingredient list, this dish takes pantry staples—olive oil, anchovies, tomato paste, and Calabrian chiles —to create a savory, spicy pasta you won't be able to stop eating. Serves 4.
Crisp the breadcrumbs
- To large heavy bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Add panko breadcrumbs, season with kosher salt, and stir to combine. Cook for around 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove breadcrumbs from skillet and transfer to small bowl—you’ll top your pasta with this later. Wipe your skillet clean.
Boil the water + make the sauce
- Bring large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- In same skillet used for breadcrumbs, heat 1/3 cup olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and anchovies, stir to combine, and season with kosher salt. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until onions have softened and anchovies have almost completely melted. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute or so.
- Add tomato paste and 1 tbsp of Calabrian chili paste, and give everything a big stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the whole mixture starts to caramelize. Season as needed with kosher salt.
Cook the pasta + toss into sauce for serving
- Cook the pasta just shy of al dente, it'll finish cooking in the sauce. Before you drain the pasta, set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water, as you'll use this to loosen up the sauce.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to your sauce in the skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup of pasta cooking water, the other tablespoon of Calabrian chili paste, and 2 tablespoons salted butter, and toss until combined.
- Add more pasta water as needed to loosen up the sauce, being sure to season and taste as you go. Add few more knobs of butter if desired - it will add richness, cut the spice if needed, and to make an extra glossy sauce.
- Transfer to bowls and top with generous amounts of fresh herbs and your previously made crispy breadcrumbs.