Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Anchovies and Arugula

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 2 generous servings


  • 2 medium tomatoes  or 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil the best you have
  • 2 cloves garlic cut in thin slivers
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Hot red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 handsful baby arugula
  • 10 anchovy fillets or 1 can (7 ounces) tuna drained
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon optional


  1. Core and dice the tomatoes; quarter or halve cherry or grape tomatoes, if using. Combine tomatoes with olive oil and garlic in a bowl large enough to hold the cooked pasta.  Season to taste with salt and hot red pepper. Marinate up to 8 hours at room temperature.
  2. Fill a large saucepan about two-thirds full with cold water and bring to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and the spaghetti, pressing with a wooden spoon until fully immersed; stir well. Cook until al dente, 8 to 12 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta and turn into the bowl with the sauce. Mix thoroughly and while the pasta is still hot, stir in the arugula, anchovies and lemon juice (if using). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Other good variations and add-ins include diced roasted yellow or red pepper, toasted pine nuts, slivered black or green olives. For the arugula, you could substitute 1/2 cup basil leaves cut in rubbons. Another idea: In southern Italian fashion, mix a pinch or two of sugar into the tomato sauce and top the pasta with toasted fresh bread crumbs. Or, for the anchovies or tuna, substitute smoked Alaska salmon in canned or frozen (thawed) form; Taku is an excellent brand that does a mail-order business. And sometimes I add 1 tablespoon capers and substitute 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions for the garlic and freshly ground black pepper for the hot pepper flakes.