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Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Oreganata Pasta

Anchovies go especially well with tomato-based dishes, adding that whole umami thing, and the combination is especially nice with pasta.

serves 4

4 cups cherry tomatoes, divided

9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

kosher salt

¼ cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs (preferably homemade)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

large pinch of dried oregano

freshly ground black pepper

16 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained

12 ounces spaghetti

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

small handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place 2 cups tomatoes in an 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and a large pinch of salt. Roast, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours (the longer they roast, the sweeter and more concentrated the flavor). Set aside.

2. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the bread crumbs and herbs in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, then stir until the mixture resembles damp sand. Lay the anchovies about ¼ inch apart on the prepared sheet. Evenly pack the bread crumb mixture over them and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, then set the anchovy oreganata aside.

3. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

4. Meanwhile, place remaining 2 cups tomatoes in a large bowl. Crush the tomatoes with your hands. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices thicken, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes.

5. Add the drained spaghetti to the skillet and toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water ¼ cup at a time if dry. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Divide among bowls. Top each with ¼ of the anchovy oreganata.

Originally published on Bon Appétit.

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