Anchovy Spaghetti is a quick and easy pasta that combines anchovies and capers. This Italian pasta with anchovies is for those nights when you need dinner on the table STAT!
Anchovies are those salty little things people either love or pick off their pizza.
Combined with capers, they are a match made in heaven.
They are versatile enough to use in pasta, pesto or pizzas and can be commonly found at the supermarket with the tinned fish.
You will find them used in our Olive Tapenade recipes which I have listed here for your convenience:
- Artichoke Olive Tapenade
- Black Olive Tapenade
- Easy Green Olive Tapenade
- Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade
- Olive Tapenade
The ingredients for this recipe are simple and easy to find at the local shops. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific measurments.
As you can see, we have:
- parmesan cheese
- chilli flakes
The salty flavours of the anchovies and capers deliver maximum taste without the dish being a hearty meat based pasta!
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start be preparing the garlic and then cooking the anchovies.
- Mince the garlic cloves (Photo 1)
- Add anchovies (in their oil) to a skillet (Photo 2)
- Add in minced garlic (Photo 3)
- Followed by chilli flakes (Photo 4)
I like to use anchovies that come in chilli oil for this recipe as it gives an extra kick!
There is no need to cut the anchovies as they will naturally break into little pieces as you cook them.
- Cook the pasta and keep the water when you drain it (Photo 5)
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet (Photo 6)
- Pour in left over pasta water (Photo 7)
- Stir to combine (Photo 4)
Italian Pasta with anchovies and capers recipe quick info:
About the recipe:
- there is 8 total ingredients for this recipe!
- make with your favourite type of pasta
- this recipe will feed 4 people
- keep the oil that the anchovies come in and use that to cook them
- drain the capers before adding them to the pan
FAQs about Anchovy Spaghetti
- this is a simple recipe that comes together easily
- the pasta water is retained for a simple sauce for the spaghetti
- if you can find anchovies in chilli oil, they will add extra spice!
- the chilli flavours add a kick the dish (optional if you are not a fan!)
Your quick questions answered:
- the sauce for the pasta is simply the leftver salty pasta water
- add cream if you want to make creamy anchovy pasta
- add olives if you want to make pasta with anchovies and olives
- the recipe takes less than 15 mins
- This is an EASY recipe
Here are my top tips and tricks so that you can master the recipe from the 1st attempt:
- Cook the pasta till it is al dente! It will add another texture to the dish.
- A pesto based sauce can be added for an extra depth of flavour if you wish.
- Serve with freshly chopped parsley for a herby zing!
- Freeze this recipe for easy meals on week nights.
The anchovies will heat quickly and break apart. Simply use a spoon and stir them in the pan. Combined with the salty capers they give a lovely taste and texture for each mouthful of the pasta!
😍 More Easy Pasta Recipes
Pasta is the most ultimate of comfort foods, here are some further recipes and ideas you might like to try:
- Smoked Salmon Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Penne Pasta
- Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Ground Beef Casserole
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
- Rocket Pesto Pasta
- Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle
If you would prefer more herby flavour in your spaghetti, try the Basil and Cashew Pesto and simply stir through the pasta (omit the pasta water for pesto based pasta).
Salty earthy anchovies and capers to satisfy the soul is what this recipe is all about, I hope you enjoy it!
- Sauce pan
- Wooden spoon
- 250 grams spaghetti Note 1
- 100 grams anchovies Note 2
- ⅓ cup capers Note 3
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
- 1 cup reserved pasta water Note 4
- parsley to serve
- Parmesan cheese to serve
- cracked pepper to serve
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions.
- Drain pasta, reserving the pasta water.
- Add anchovies (and oil) to a skillet and bring to a medium heat.
- Add minced garlic and chilli flakes, stir to combine and cook for 2-3 mins
- Add cooked pasta to the anchovy mix, reduce to a simmer and add the pasta water
- Stir to combine and allow the pasta to return to a medium heat ( 2-3 mins).
- Serve with capers, Parmesan, cracked pepper and freshly chopped parsley Note 5
- Note 1 I love using spaghetti as I love getting my twirl on! You can however, use your favourite pasta for this recipe ie substitute it for the spaghetti and keep everything else in the recipe the same!
- Note 2 When you purchase the anchovies they will be in oil. We use that oil for this recipe as well instead of straight bottled olive oil. I like to get the anchovies in chilli oil as I find it add a great depth of flavour. You can used your preferred anchovies.
- Note 3 These will come in a salty brine liquid, but we drain and discard that for this recipe.
- Note 4 Once the pasta is cooked, we drain it and keep that pasta water. We then add 1 cup of it to the pan when we are combining our cooked pasta with the cooked anchovy mix.
- Note 5 I don't cook the capers as I find they are PERFECT as they are. The heat of the rest of the dish allows them to warm through, but there is no need to add them into the dish to cook them. They have a lovely salty briney taste and literally burst in your mouth, that is the taste and texture we are looking for. However, if you make then reheat the dish, they are fine to be in there as the dish is heated.