The sauce for this easy pasta recipe gets a pleasantly nutty background flavor from a secret pantry ingredient: anchovies. That's right. Anchovies not only add natural salt to the sauce but also give it a bit of a protein boost. If you've ever bought a jar of anchovies to make Caesar salad dressing from scratch, and couldn't figure out what to do with the rest, use them to flavor pasta sauces and cut down on salt. For this sauce, I didn't have to put any salt into the sauce, and it tasted delicious.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta for half the time recommended in the package directions. Drain, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the anchovies in the oil over low heat until dissolved, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Then, add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
Next, tear the basil leaves and add them to the pot. Season generously with pepper. Stir in the pasta and heat through. Add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary.