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Tomato, Basil and Dried Anchovies Pasta

Updated on July 1, 2013
5 stars from 1 rating of Tomato, Basil and Dried Anchovies Pasta

Tomato, Basil and Dried Fish Anchovies as Packed Lunch

Dried Anchovies - Dulong

These are the Dried Anchovies that I prefer to use. Here in the Philippines, it's locally called Dulong.
These are the Dried Anchovies that I prefer to use. Here in the Philippines, it's locally called Dulong.

An instant hit that's light and easy.

When you want a tasty meal that is healthy, consider Tomato, Basil and Dried Anchovies Pasta as an option. TBD as I fondly call it requires very little cooking skills and takes about 30 minutes to prepare and cook. The ingredients are fresh (except for the dried anchovies), healthy and budget friendly.

I first learned this from a friend. I made a few changes according to my taste. I serve this when I have family and friends coming over and I want something other than the usual spaghetti and barbecue. It doesn't take a lot of time to cook so it gives me more time to spend catching up with families and friends. Sometimes, TBD even finds its way as a conversational topic among guests. This is an instant hit to both kids and adults. My 3 year old nephew always asks for a second helping and my cousin finds it as a nice fusion style to puttanesca. To make the meal healthier I usually serve it with fresh fruits and lemon water.

It's also an ideal packed lunch for work. My daughter also loves it as a packed snack in school. It's a convenient meal when there are lots of things to be done in front of the computer. It's tasty and it gives added energy boost to keep you going and finishing your work.

I have tried using several kinds of pasta and I prefer the spiral. When they are not available in my pantry, I use spaghetti. But I find the spiral more appealing to the eyes that's why I usually stock my pantry with spiral pasta than spaghetti.

Others like the torn basil freshly tossed with the pasta. But I prefer to sauté it a little with the tomatoes and dried fish. The flavor of the sauteed basil is more appealing to kids than the tossed torn fresh ones.

As for the dried anchovies, it is easy to find them here in the Philippines and in other Asian countries. It is available in public markets and supermarkets. Sometimes they are also available in the convenience stores of a neighborhood. There are many kinds of dried anchovies but I recommend you use the small ones. As dried anchovies get bigger, they also get saltier and harder to chew. The ones I use are locally called dilis or dulong. When fried, they are crunchy and not so salty. Between the two I prefer dulong since it is smaller than dilis. In the photo of the finished recipe here, I used dilis since at that time that was what's available in my pantry.

I've tried using anchovies in oil just to be able to find out what difference it would make. The ones I got made the pasta too salty. I did not try finding another anchovies in oil as they are a bit pricey here in the Philippines. But if these are the only anchovies that are readily available to you, make sure that you adjust the amount you would put in your pasta according to your taste.

I enjoy experimental cooking and I am always excited to learn something new. I love healthy recipes that are easy to make and are an instant hit to kids. So if you have a recipe to share or thoughts that would probably make this recipe tastier and healthier, I would gladly welcome them.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 6

Spiral Pasta

  • 6 cups cooked pasta
  • 4 pieces red tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup basil, torn
  • 1 1/2 cup small dried anchovies, fried separately
  • 1 piece onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cheese, grated
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Fry dried anchovies until golden brown. Drain oil on towel paper. Set aside.
  3. Pour olive oil in a wok on medium heat.
  4. Saute garlic, onion and tomatoes for 2 minutes or until onion is transparent
  5. Add the fried dried anchovies and cook for another minute.
  6. Tear the basil leaves and add in the sauteed tomatoes and dried fish.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Turn off the heat and toss the cooked pasta in the wok. Serve on a plate topped with grated cheese. Your Tomato, Basil and Dried Anchovies Pasta is ready to enjoy.

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