We use more shallots than Alison in this recipe as I find that most supermarkets sell bags weighing around 300g. You might think one bag is enough, but I chose to go with two bags at 600g. The sweetness of the caramelized shallots is what makes this recipe so unique, so I went for double the quantity.
I think this recipe can take a lot of garlic. I used 5 cloves with one clove to top, but adjust this depending on your garlic preference.
I like to think of this recipe as a gateway anchovy recipe. We use ¼ of the amount of anchovies that Alison does as I’m using super cheap anchovies – which are really rich and umami packed but I think slightly stronger than the higher quality anchovies that she uses. This recipe does not taste fishy or like anchovies – trust me on this one!
Depending on your heat preference, use either chili flakes or red pepper flakes for this caramelized shallot pasta.
You can pair this Alison roman shallot pasta recipe with any pasta shape you like. Alison uses bucatini, but as I’m trying to make this recipe more budget friendly, I’ve gone for spaghetti as you can get it for around 25p!
The rich oil that serves as the foundation of this recipe.
We use a whole tube of tomato puree in this recipe, which is not only super satisfying, but perfect to minimise waste.
Start by peeling the shallots.
Finely chop the shallots.
Fry gently and sweat the onions for around 10 minutes. Then add the garlic, anchovies, red pepper/chilli flakes, parsley stems and tomato paste into the pan.Continue to fry on a medium/low heat for another 8 minutes, stirring frequently and the paste will darken and the onions will caramelize fully.
During this time, add the spaghetti to heavily salted pasta water. Set your timer to 2 minutes minus the packet time. transfer the undercooked pasta into the pan along with 2 ladles of pasta water.
Mix the spaghetti with the tomatoey shallot sauce.
Serve this Alison Roman pasta recipe with finely chopped garlic/fresh parsley.
To make ahead of time
The caramelized shallot paste is perfect to make ahead, as you can store it in a jar and keep it in the fridge for up to a month.
To meal prep
You can also combine the paste with the pasta and divide the finished recipe into meal prep containers. I also steam some broccoli and divide that into the containers too. Store the parsley separately.
When it’s time to reheat the pasta, add 1 tbsp of water into the meal prep container and reheat in the microwave on high for two minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir. Season with salt and pepper and top with the parsley/garlic mix.
Can I use any pasta shape in this recipe?
Yes! Alison recommends using a longer pasta shape so preferably spaghetti, linguine, tagliatelle, bucatini etc, but I’d say you can use any shape that you feel like.
Can I use white/red onions instead of shallots?
You can, but I’d recommend reducing the quantity slightly as white/red onions are stronger and less sweet than shallots. I would recommend 2 onions if you’re subbing out the shallots. If you can though, try and stick with the shallots as it’s their sweetness that really makes this dish a 10/10.
Do I have to use anchovies? I’m scared!
I promise you that you won’t even realise they’re in this recipe. The recipe isn’t fishy at all, the anchovies just provide a salty umami boost and as they’re gently fried along with all of the other ingredients, they disintegrate into the sauce so you won’t see any visible anchovy bits.
How long does the caramelized shallot paste last?
1 month in a jar in the fridge.