Pasta with Anchovies – This version of aglio e olio (garlic and oil) sauce includes anchovies, red pepper flakes, and freshly toasted breadcrumbs, which add great flavor and a little crunch.
Pasta with Anchovies
Sicilian Pasta with anchovies and breadcrumbs is a quick and easy pasta dinner. It can be made with just a few pantry staples and is ready in the time it takes to cook your pasta! The anchovies melt into the oil to add an umami flavor to this classic dish.
As many of you know, I do speak a little Italian. In Italian we say “Pasta al sugo di acciughe. It can be on the table in 15-20 minutes.
I have to give credit to Tom Garvey the Keto Cook for the idea. On his recent Wednesday evening live chat, he reminded me of Pasta with Anchovies and how wonderful it is.
In Italian, Anchovies are called “alici” and they belong to the Famiglia di pesci Azzurri or blue fish family.
You probably love anchovies and don’t know it. These common foods have anchovies as an ingredient -Worcestershire sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Barbecue sauces made with Worcestershire, which a lot of homemade BBQ sauces are made of
- Caesar salad and Caesar dressing.
- Caponata which is a Sicilian eggplant relish
- Pasta Puttanesca, the list goes on.
So get over your alleged dislike of anchovies and embrace a tasty pasta dish that is simple and easy to put on the table.
Ingredients are all pantry staples (except for the fresh parsley). A dish that is so flavorful that you may consider preparing it for the company and not only for quick weeknight meals.
Pasta with anchovies, originally from Sicily, is a classic example of cucina povera, or poor man’s food. That is making do with what one has on hand.
Breadcrumbs added to Pasta with Anchovies
This pasta recipe consists of breadcrumbs with garlic and anchovies added. I know that many of you may be thinking, can you taste the anchovies in the pasta sauce?
The answer is “no”, this dish is not at all fishy. The anchovies melt in the sauce and add a salty satisfying flavor. But this dish is not all about anchovies. You’ll love the toasted, crispy breadcrumbs.
- 1 lb pasta/spaghetti
- Kosher salt
- 4 oil-packed flat anchovy fillets
- 6 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp chopped fresh basil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan for serving
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water drain, reserving 3 Tbsp. of the pasta liquid.
- Heat 1 cup of oil
- Cook anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until anchovies dissolve and garlic is tender, 6–7 minutes
- Stir in parsley, then remove from heat.
- While anchovy sauce is cooking, heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat
- Add panko and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to paper towels to cool.
- Add al dente pasta to Anchovy Sauce and stir to coat.
- Stir in reserved pasta cooking liquid, then half of the panko mixture.
- Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until heated through, 1–2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with Parmesan, fresh basil and remaining panko mixture.
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