"The Pasta" (Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta Without Anchovies)

I made this awhile ago before Corona happened and totally forgot to download the photos from my camera.  I stumbled across an article about the lovely Alison Roman and this dish was mentioned and I was like hey, I made that, did I post it?  Turns out it was lost in the shuffle, but here it is now!

I am a seafood averse person, which is very strange for a born and bred New Orleanian.  I have never liked it with a few specific exceptions.  Consequently, when a recipe calls for anchovies or fish sauce, I have to make some changes.  This one had anchovies, and even though she and the commenters swore you wouldn't taste it, I wasn't going to take a chance.  I decided to impart that umami, I would go with pancetta and mushrooms.  It worked for me.  

Y'all, this is so delicious!  I have been cooking my way through all of her recipes and this is by far my favorite. I am craving it right now as I type! The flavors are so deep and the sauce just coats the pasta perfectly.  The garnish on top is just divine.  I had to add a little parm as it was going bad and I hate wasting.  I saved the extra sauce and put it on chicken and it was so good!  So try this, anchovies or not, your call!  Full recipe to follow the montage.

Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta without anchovies
Just a big ole bowl of delicious!
Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta without anchovies
The cast.  I just used those noodles because that is what I had.
Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta withoutAnchovies
Get those shallots caramelizing
Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta without anchovies
Who needs anchovies?  Not this girl!
Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta without anchovies
Do not skip the garnish!  It is so lovely!
Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta without anchovies
I am an impatient girl. I may not have caramelized them enough!
Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta without anchovies
Look at this sauce!  Save half for later, or don't. 
Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta without anchovies
Throw in the pasta and swirl it around.
Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta without anchovies
Pin it and make it stat!
Caramelized Shallot Pasta  (Adapted from The New York Times)

¼ cup olive oil
6 large shallots, very thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, 4 thinly sliced, 1 finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1 container of white mushrooms, chopped small
1/2 cup chopped pancetta
1 (4.5-ounce) tube or (6-ounce) can of tomato paste (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
10 ounces pasta
1 cup parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
Flaky sea salt
  • Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium high. 
  • Add shallots and thinly sliced garlic, and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have become totally softened and caramelized with golden-brown fried edges, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add red-pepper flakes and mushrooms and pancetta. Stir to melt them into the shallots, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent any scorching, until the tomato paste has started to cook in the oil a bit, caramelizing at the edges and going from bright red to a deeper brick red color, about 2 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and transfer about half the mixture to a resealable container, leaving the rest behind. 
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until very al dente. Transfer to Dutch oven with remaining shallot mixture and 1 cup pasta water. 
  • Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the skillet to coat each piece of pasta, using a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits on the bottom, until pasta is thick and sauce has reduced and is sticky, but not saucy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine parsley and finely chopped garlic clove, and season with flaky salt and pepper. Divide pasta among bowls and top with parsley mixture and a bit of parmesan, if you like.
Happy Cooking!


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