I came late to the anchovy party. For a long while I avoided them, harboring a childhood timidity to their pungent fishiness. Luckily that notion changed when I experienced anchovies in dishes where they did not stand out, but rather melted into the dish, amplifying flavor and producing a wonderful yet elusive umami quality that kept me digging in for more. In this recipe, the anchovy teams up with a cast of like-minded strong flavors to produce a robust and feisty puttanesca-inspired dish. I serve it simply as is, but it may also be served with pasta or rice. —TasteFood
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
small yellow onion, chopped
garlic cloves, minced
anchovy filets, finely chopped
crushed red chili flakes, divided
grape or small cherry tomatoes
oil cured olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, anchovies and 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, olives, white wine and capers. Cook until the tomatoes begin to break down and sauce thickens, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and add the sugar if desired. Keep warm.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes. Arrange the shrimp in one layer in the skillet and season with salt. Cook until pink on both sides and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes, turning once.
Arrange the shrimp on a serving plate. Spoon the puttanesca sauce over and around the shrimp. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with crusty bread.