5 from 7 votes

Caramelized Shallot Pasta (Budget Alison Roman Shallot Pasta Recipe)

Jump to Recipe
Alison Roman’s caramelized shallot pasta went viral for a reason. It's flavourful and simple. Here’s my budget recreation for 96p per portion.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
£0.96
Makes: 4
mains
American
Alison Roman, Arrabiata Pasta, budget recipe, Caramelized, Crispy Shallots & Chickpeas
Freezable

Table of Contents

  1. Why this recipe went viral
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to make this budget Alison Roman shallot pasta
  4. To make ahead of time/reheat
  5. FAQ

Why this recipe went viral

In 2020 the Alison Roman Shallot Pasta recipe went viral, receiving over 14,000 votes on NYT cooking, which resulted in half of instagram trying out the caramelized shallot pasta.

I think this recipe went viral for many reasons, as this recipe was adored by so many people because it uses such a small number of ingredients, mostly pantry staple ingredients, that come together to have such a powerful flavour.

The shallot paste used to finish the recipe with, before adding to pasta, can be used in multiple recipes. You can spread it on toast, add it into a salad dressing, serve directly into salad and serve on pizza etc.

I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly to make it more budget-friendly and switched up the quantities to make this caramelized shallot pasta a bit more BTB.

Close up photo of Caramelized Shallot Pasta (Budget Alison Roman Shallot Pasta)

Ingredients

Shallots

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.

Garlic

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.

Anchovies

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!

Red pepper flakes

Depending on your heat preference, use either chili flakes or red pepper flakes for this caramelized shallot pasta.

Spaghetti

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!

Olive oil

The rich oil that serves as the foundation of this recipe.

Tomato puree/paste

We use a whole tube of tomato puree in this recipe, which is not only super satisfying, but perfect to minimise waste.

Caramelized Shallot Pasta (Budget Alison Roman Shallot Pasta Recipe) - Ingredients shot

How to make this budget Alison Roman shallot pasta

Start by peeling the shallots.

Shallot before and after peeling

Finely chop the shallots.

Finley sliced shallots in pan

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.

Fried shallots and tomato paste added

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.

Cooked pasta added to pan

Mix the spaghetti with the tomatoey shallot sauce.

pasta mixed together with sauce

Serve this Alison Roman pasta recipe with finely chopped garlic/fresh parsley.

Caramelised shallot pasta served with parsley in pan

To make ahead of time/reheat

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.

To reheat

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.

Photo of Caramelized Shallot Pasta (Budget Alison Roman Shallot Pasta) in blue bowl

FAQ

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.

Other shallot recipes…

10 Minute Vegetable Noodle Soup

Easy 10 Minute Naan Bread Pizza

Swedish Gravy Spaghetti with Pork and Courgette Meatballs

Other spaghetti recipes…

5 Ingredient Spaghetti Chorizo Carbonara

Lentil Bolognese

Meatball Marinara with Spiralized Courgette and Wholewheat Spaghetti

close up shot of Caramelized Shallot Pasta (Budget Alison Roman Shallot Pasta) with tongs to serve

 

Caramelized Shallot Pasta (Budget Alison Roman Shallot Pasta Recipe)

Print Pin It
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
£0.96
mains
American
Alison Roman, Arrabiata Pasta, budget recipe, Caramelized, Crispy Shallots & Chickpeas
Freezable
Servings: 4
Alison Roman’s caramelized shallot pasta went viral for a reason. It's flavourful and simple. Here’s my budget recreation for 96p per portion.

Ingredients

  • 600 g shallots, thinly sliced (£1.50)
  • 5 garlic cloves, 4 thinly sliced, 1 finely chopped (£0.29)
  • 4 whole anchovies (£0.50)
  • 200 g (1 tube) tomato puree (£0.34)
  • 350 g spaghetti (£0.70)
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, leaves and stems finely chopped (£0.50)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Start by adding the olive oil and thinly sliced shallots to a large stainless steel frying pan on a medium/low heat. Season generously with salt and pepper and sweat for around 10 minutes.
  • Next 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.
  • During this time, add the spaghetti to heavily salted pasta water. Set your timer to 2 minutes minus the packet time.
  • Now that the paste has darkened and the onions are looking really caramelized, transfer the undercooked pasta into the pan along with 2 ladles of pasta water. Stir to combine.
  • Serve the caramelized shallot pasta with finely chopped garlic/fresh parsley.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 14g
Calories: 498kcal
Carbohydrates: 79g
Protein: 16g

Leave a comment and a rating!

Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

Recipe Rating




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Weekly meal plans with a £20 budget
  • 50+ exclusive recipes
  • Personal dashboard
  • Exclusive step by step videos
  • Shopping list tools

JOIN NOW LEARN MORE

Never miss a recipe!

Sign up to my weekly newsletter to get all of Beat the Budget's recent recipes, so you never miss out!

Development Alchemy + Aim