I made this hearty pasta sauce at the end of a week with ingredients that I scrambled together from the fridge and my pantry. My family loved it so much that it has become one of their favorite pasta sauces, so I have to share this easy dinner recipe with you!
The amount of the sauce can easily satisfy six people and is probably enough to serve with two (12-ounce) packages of cooked capellini pasta. So this recipe is perfect for big families or if you want to store some leftover sauce for later in the week. But if you like your pasta to be extra creamy and with a lot of sauce—like my family does—than serve it with a (12-ounce) package of cooked pasta (four servings).
This dish is ready in 30 to 40 minutes. Each step adds an extra flavor to the sauce. The anchovy fillets make the base salty and a little pungent. But we soften their flavors by cooking them almost entirely away and then adding for a couple of seconds the garlic to release its wonderful aroma. Allowing the onions and bell peppers to soften and cook for 15 minutes in the tomatoes will break down their sweet and distinct taste. When all the flavors come together, you seasoned it a little more, based on taste, with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper (optional). If you have kids that don’t like their food spicy, omit the cayenne pepper. Sometimes I take out some pasta sauce at the end, for my daughter, and make the rest spicy with red chili peppers—another option.
I start boiling the water for the pasta over a high heat when the sauce is ready to be pureed and before I add the beans. If the sauce is ready before the pasta, gently simmer the sauce over the lowest heat setting, stirring frequently. Adding the beans (I prefer the small packages of 365 Everday Value), the basil and a little olive oil for an extra 5 minutes in the sauce makes it extra creamy and incredibly hearty.
I prefer to serve this dish with thin capellini pasta, and for those who follow a gluten-free diet, I like to use Jovial. It has a great taste, and the noodles don’t stick together if you separate them regularly with a fork during cooking.
If preferred, serve with a little grated Parmesan cheese!