Chef Mike Easton's Recipe for Salsa Siciliana

Featuring anchovies, from the kitchen of Il Corvo chef Mike Easton
Easton’s salsa siciliana made with anchovies and pomodoro sauce

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

8 fillets of anchovy

2 Tablespoons of pomodoro concentrato, the Italian tomato paste in tubes

1 teaspoon chili flakes, or more, to taste

1 pound pasta


Cook 1 pound of your favorite spaghetti for the recommended amount of time in a large pot of well-salted water.

While that’s cooking, coat the bottom of a cold sauté pan with some olive oil, add the crushed garlic and place over low heat. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, begin smashing the anchovies into the pan with a fork. Let the anchovies fry for a minute and then add the chili flakes, toasting them in the oil with the anchovy and garlic for 15–20 seconds.

Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir in with a wooden spoon. The sauce will look a bit lumpy and oily at this stage. “It’s OK, don’t panic,” Mike Easton says. Continue cooking the tomato in the sauce for another 2 minutes and turn off the flame. 

As your pasta comes to the perfect “al dente” doneness, drain the pasta, being sure to reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the sauce and the 1/4 cup of pasta water, stir until evenly coated.

Serves 4.

Easton suggests serving this dish with “copious amounts of Nero d’Avola wine.”