This side dish makes a great accompaniment to the aforementioned deep-fried steak.
Drain anchovies over a large nonreactive skillet to reserve packing oil. Separate anchovies into filets and chop finely.
Peel and seed half the tomatoes and chop them coarsely.
Add butter and a small amount of olive oil to pan with anchovy oil. Add chopped tomatoes, half the chopped anchovies, garlic, onion, and cayenne and cook over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring frequently.
Allow tomato mixture to cool slightly, then carefully purée in a blender or food processor and return to pan. Reheat sauce over low heat, continuing to stir frequently.
As sauce is reheating, halve remaining tomatoes and gently squeeze out the seeds. Chop the unpeeled tomatoes coarsely. Add tomatoes and remaining anchovies to sauce. Add salt if necessary.
Cook tomatoes in sauce until sauce thickens, about 6 to 8 minutes, continuing to stir. Remove from heat and stir in basil.
© 1992 Colman Andrews. All rights reserved.