Anchovy Paste – do you like it, what do you do with it?

Jan 17, 2014 | 12 comments


Anchovy PasteAnchovy Paste

Bought a tube of anchovy paste a while back, with the idea of exploring ways of using it here. Have looked up the price on mySupermarket, but have noticed that the blighters seem to be steadily removing Basics type lines, not that this tube is, but it was the cheapest way of buying anchovy paste. So shall have to pop in the shop and check the price. I think it was 90p for 57g?
Was reading one of my recipe books last night, a Pasta one. In it there was the most minimalist recipe for spaghetti which was good oil and garlic. I might try that, although I think that you must need the olive oil, which we don’t buy here. But reading it, I think a similar minimalist recipe could be done using a smidgeon of the paste.

A 2nd idea is to make a pizza base, smear a little anchovy paste on, top with cooked onions and olives, probably no cheese, but maybe a little soft cheese. Then there is Puttanesca, which is pasta with anchovy, olives, tomato, capers and parmesan. Peppers stuffed with breadcrumbs, anchovy, olives and tomatoes. And finally, just in a sandwich, a smear topped with soft cheese, with something crunchy, cucumber possibly.

I also found a recipe that used the anchovy paste with soft cheese, feta, garlic and chives, as a sandwich filling. Sounds intriguing and I might try it, depends how it costs up.

So, do you like anchovies? If you do, how would you use the paste to get some 50p dinners? Do let me know, I will be working up some recipes and posting them soon.

The local foodbank people have taken a shine to the blog (and me, blush) and I will be doing a demo next Friday to some people, and a talk at the end of Feb, so that’s quite exciting. A journalist got in touch and I replied, but heard nothing else yet, so that may come to nothing. It would be great to get what we do here a bit of publicity so that more people who need it can use it.




  1. Sue

    Well done on the speaking opportunity for the local food bank. I sometimes feel that those who use a foodbank would benefit from some informal lessons on what to do with basic foodstuffs. After all it’s no use handing over food if it’s not going to be able to be used to it’s full potential.

    I buy lots for our local food bank when I’m in the supermarket and I always have my fingers crossed that the folk who need it so much can make full use of it. I do keep things simple but even simple foods can be made into tastier treats if you just know what to do with them, something your Blog and Jack’s show us very well.

  2. Lesley

    Is it really? I am starting from scratch with this as DP hates fish, so I don’t get to eat it often at home.
    I shall try a little dressing immediately 🙂

  3. Veronica Vatter

    Don’t forget that it’s good added to salad dressings! I remember the two fat ladies smearing it on a roasted veggie sandwich that was then pressed cold. If adding to a recipe with oil, I would heat it in with the oil to distribute it thru the dish.

  4. Lesley

    That sounds pretty frugal, I’m going to have try that one

  5. Allegra

    Our favourite way of using anchovies is spaghetti, oil, chopped onion, crushed garlic, chilli flakes and chopped anchovies. I expect that anchovy paste can be quite happily substituted instead.

  6. Lesley

    Oooooh, there are some smashing ideas there! I use olive oil too, but don’t have the budget for it here. I will work some of those ideas up into priced recipes, thanks

  7. jill in NYC

    Hmm ..this is tricky since I like olive oil and use it often…will try and adapt some ideas..
    Try mashing some soft roasted garlic with the paste and spread thinly over and unbaked pizza crust. Top with roasted asparagas (leftovers from Valentines Day!) Shaved strong cheese and perhaps some well draned chopped tomatoes. Bake in a hot oven.

    Add to well cooked garlicky white beans with tomato and lots of parsley and serve over toast or pasta.

    Add to mayonaise with lots of black pepper..possibly capers too and use as a sauce for a mix of well steamed potatoes and string beans….good with chick peas added.

    Very good in a lemony vinagrette on a Ceasar type salad with toasted crutons..or on chopped leftover chicken with celery cooked peas and seasonal onion…green one or thinly sliced red ones or roasted leeks if available.
    A squeeze added to a meat gravy gives it a deep mysterious winey taste but no hi t of fishyness…honest!

  8. Rita

    You are right, it feels almost like a challenge too far! My aim is to see how far I can make the £365 last. If you look at the blog and at the rules, it’s not quite as impossible as it first sounds, and if you could actually SEE my stockpile, you might understand why I am optimistic that I will get a long way with my £365!

  9. Lesley

    The new challenge is very, erm, challenging, good luck with that!
    I too have a bulging store cupboard and seem to be forever saying that I need to get the freezer stocks down, whilst batch cooking soup, say, from a carcass, that doesn’t count! and it never seems to get much emptier. Doing my best to get DP to stop spending £15 or £20 every time he goes out on this or that
    I shall have a look at Mr Ottolenghi’s recipes and see if I can make any of them fit our budget

    Haven’t done a big shop in January, just bits and pieces as we run out of something, so hoping to get the stores down – how many times have I said THAT!

  10. Rita

    So pleased about the opportunities that have presented themselves to you – they are well deserved. I look forward to reading about them.

    Anchovies have never appealed to me, I can think of nothing I would use them in, but your ideas sound great.

    I am following this challenge at the moment
    as we need to belt-tighten even further and also because I think it will give me the impetus I need to finally get to grips with clearing the stockpile. I want a well-stocked store cupboard, but this has now grown to mammoth proportions and it needs taming.

    I think the key to success in this challenge is probably to invest in things which will give good flavour to basic ingredients, and your ideas seem ideal for this. I might try a tube.

    Ottolenghi uses anchovies in his recipes – I don’t know if anchovy paste could be substituted

  11. fritz

    That’s good… be able to offer your skills to others. I wish you well.

  12. sarah

    Looking forward to the ideas I have a matching lurking in my kitchen. I like anchovies, but the rest of the family are reluctant, I looking to enhance rather than dominate. All recipes read with relish, even if they are not suitable for us, they still inspire and get me excited about cooking again.

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