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Spaghetti with anchovies, breadcrumbs and walnuts recipe

Spaghetti with anchovies, breadcrumbs and walnuts recipe

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  • Pasta
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Check out this easy, healthy, cheap (the approximate cost for each person is £1.30) and quick to make spaghetti recipe with authentic Italian ingredients.

Essex, England, UK

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 3

  • 360g spaghetti
  • 5 anchovy fillets in oil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 walnuts, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 small bunch parsley, chopped

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:9min ›Ready in:14min

  1. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water for the time specified on the packet, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the anchovies, garlic and walnuts.
  3. Once the spaghetti is al dente, drain well and transfer to the pan with the anchovy mixture. Toss well, then serve with the breadcrumbs and parsley sprinkled over top.

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Sicilian Spaghetti with Breadcrumbs…and my favorite meal of the year

Christmas Eve is by far my favorite meal of the year. For as long as I can remember, we have pretty much eaten mostly the same few dishes (all seafood) every single Christmas Eve and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a feast I tell you.

I didn’t really ‘know’ this until I was older, but apparently, our Christmas Eve feast is called Feast of the 7 Fishes. For all I knew, growing up, it was just what we did, what we ate on Christmas Eve…I didn’t realize it was such a cultural thing until later on. What I love, especially in food blogging world, is seeing other people celebrating Christmas Eve the same way…similar food, similar traditions. It’s pretty cool.

These pictures on this post were taken a few years back, I can’t believe I am just now blogging about it now. I am shocked it took this long…and that my kids looked like this that year…my babies!!

Sammy was huge into Transformers this year…

Gosh, I just love the belly on that baby girl…

And my sweet grandparents…one of my favorite pictures of them.

Here we have simple shrimp cooked in lemon and wine …

Fish Oreganata (this was my contribution a couple years back)

Steamed Mussels with wine and tomatoes (similar to Paula’s recipe here)

All seafood…a total feast I tell you.

My absolute favorite is the spaghetti….and the bacala (salted cod fish). I’m going to tell you how we make our spaghetti with breadcrumbs, but I’m going to have to get back to you on the bacala because I need to actually write it down this year while my Nonno is putting it together. It’s basically a stew type dish, baked in the oven…salted cod (rinsed many times), tomatoes, celery, onions, potatoes and olives…baked until bubbly and cooked through. Oh so good with crusty Italian bread sopping up the juices. My mouth is watering thinking of it.

And this spaghetti. We call it Pasta e Muddica. I love saying it and my Nonna always has to correct me because I kinda goof it up sometimes. I love this spaghetti and have NO idea why I don’t make it ever on my own. Why do I eat something I love so much only one night a year? I don’t understand…

The recipe is one of those ‘recipes’ that you just follow lightly, there are no measurements, the ingredients are super simple and just perfect in my opinion.

  • Calories (kcal) : 710
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 300
  • Fat (g): 34
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 22
  • Cholesterol (mg): 40
  • Sodium (mg): 2010
  • Carbohydrates (g): 73
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 27
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil and red pepper flakes in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spatula, until the pepper flakes are sizzling, about 5 minutes. Add the anchovies, if using, and mash them with the spatula until they begin to dissolve. Raise the heat to medium, add the breadcrumbs, and cook, stirring often, until the crumbs are deep golden, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the breadcrumbs are crisp and brown, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, and season with salt to taste (if using anchovies, you may not need extra salt).
  • Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Immediately return the pasta to the pot over medium-low heat, add half the breadcrumb mixture and toss to combine. If necessary, add some of the reserved cooking water to moisten. Season to taste with salt. Serve sprinkled with the remaining breadcrumbs.

Recipe Notes

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Neapolitan Christmas Eve Spaghetti with Walnuts

Yield: serves 4-6


  • 1 ¼ cups walnuts, the fresher the better
  • Sea salt
  • About 1 pound spaghetti, linguine, or similar-shaped pasta
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup unflavored bread crumbs
  • 1 cup minced flat-leaf parsley


Spread the walnuts out on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for several minutes, or until they begin to release their fragrance. It's okay if they turn a little golden, but don't let them get deep brown. Remove from the oven, and when the nuts are cool, chop them coarsely and set aside.

When you're ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and pasta and start to cook, monitoring your time based on the pasta type and, of course, testing along the way.

While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, finish the sauce: Over low heat, combine ½ cup of the oil and the garlic in a saucepan large enough to hold all the cooked pasta. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the garlic starts to soften. Add the anchovies and continue cooking, using a fork to mash the anchovies into the oil. Stir in the chopped walnuts and cook for about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, toast the bread crumbs in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan, tossing and stirring to brown and crisp them.

When the pasta is almost al dente, remove about ¾ cup pasta water and add to the walnut-anchovy sauce. Let it simmer while you drain the pasta, then add the pasta directly to the walnut sauce, turning to coat it well with the sauce as it finishes its last minute or so of cooking. Taste and add salt if necessary (there may be sufficient salt from the anchovies).

Turn onto a warm serving platter, garnish with the parsley and toasted bread crumbs, and serve immediately.


Step 1

Very thinly slice 4 garlic cloves (a mandoline works great) and set aside. Pulse remaining 4 garlic cloves in a food processor until finely chopped. Add bread and lemon zest and pulse until coarse crumbs form season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Cook breadcrumb mixture, stirring often, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer breadcrumb mixture with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.

Step 3

Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in same pot over medium-low. Cook reserved sliced garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden at edges, about 1 minute. Add anchovies and chiles and cook, stirring, until anchovies are dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice.

Step 4

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 3 minutes less than package directions.

Step 5

Using tongs, transfer pasta to pot with sauce along with 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook, tossing often, until pasta is al dente. Add 3 Tbsp. pasta cooking liquid, then gradually add cheese, tossing until melted and emulsified. Remove from heat, add parsley, butter, and half of breadcrumb mixture and toss until combined and butter is melted. If pasta seems dry, add more pasta cooking liquid and oil and toss again. Season with salt and pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.

Step 6

Divide pasta among bowls. Top with remaining breadcrumb mixture.

How would you rate Anchovy Pasta with Garlic Breadcrumbs?

Good, and agree with upping the lemon and anchovies. Also, keep your pasta water.. you're going to need to keep adding unless you like dry pasta.

made garlic oil first. (keeps in fridge a very long time, so make a big batch). made exactly as written the first time. loved it, but next time i used panko for the bread crumbs, used 2 tins of anchovies - the entire tin with the oil, added some pulverized spinach instead of parley, some grape tomatoes and broiled shrimp on top. this is an awesome basic recipe, but you can have lots of fun tweaking.

Good, but. Double, maybe even triple the anchovies, double the lemon juice, lemon zest. Watch that the bread crumbs do not get too brown, makes them a bit bitter. Spice was good, not sure if pecorino is any better than parmesan or any other hard cheese. Will definitely make again, but flavors need enhancement/additions.

A friend made this for us for dinner the other night, and it was so good I made her give me the recipe. Can't wait to make this myself.

Easy, cheap, quick, and delicious. Made with the crushed red pepper flakes, since I already had them at home. Surprisingly decent as leftovers. The only note I would give is to make the breadcrumbs in batches in the food processor. The best crumbs were definitely the smaller ones. Doing it all in one go, I ended up with some that were larger and didn't get as crispy as I would have hoped.

Spaghetti con Aglio Olio e Alici

Fill a large 6 quart pot with water and bring to a boil. Generously salt the water with a tablespoon of salt. Add the spaghetti.

While the spaghetti is cooking, in a medium frying pan heat over medium flame the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add two of the anchovy fillets and cook till the anchovies melt into the oil, breaking apart with your spoon. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes just until the garlic starts to brown. Add 2 cups of the salted pasta water to the garlic and oil and reduce the flame to low and simmer.

In a small frying pan over medium heat add the three tablespoons of olive oil. Add the other two anchovy fillets to the pan and cook till the anchovies melt into the oil, breaking them up with your spoon. Add the cup of Italian flavored bread crumbs and mix well so you absorb all the anchovy flavored oil and toast lightly. Be careful not to burn the bread crumbs, but lightly toast them. Remove from the heat.

Once the pasta is cooked reserve another cup of pasta water and drain the pasta well. Place the pasta back in the large pot and add the garlic and oil mixture over the pasta and mix well. If the pasta is too dry add more of the pasta water.

Plate the pasta into individual bowls, one pound pasta should serve 4 people, and sprinkle about a quarter cup of the bread crumb mixture over the spaghetti. Serve immediately with plenty of grated cheese.

St. Joseph’s Day Spaghetti

March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph, Festa di San Giuseppe. It’s a big day in Italy and a big day among Italian-Americans.

St. Joseph’s Day is Father’s Day in Italia. Joseph was Mary’s husband and helped raise the young Jesus. St. Joseph is also Sicily’s patron saint. The story is that St. Joseph’s intervention saved Sicilians from starvation during a severe Middle Ages drought.

I make some of my favorite Italian food this time of the year in celebration of the Festa di San Giuseppe, the Feast of St. Joseph.

This year I’m making Sicilian St. Joseph’s Day dishes. First up is Spaghetti di San Giuseppe with toasted breadcrumbs that symbolize the sawdust on a carpeter’s floor.

The spaghetti is bathed in a zesty garlic, olive oil and anchovy sauce topped with nutty, golden toasted breadcrumbs. Spaghetti di San Giuseppe is a humble, simple dish with deep complex flavor. You can make the sauce in the time that it takes to cook the pasta.

My Italian roots are in Campania so I can’t forego making a Neapolitan pastry, Zeppole di San Giuseppe. We’re gathering to celebrate an Italian-American friend’s birthday tomorrow. I’m making Zeppole di San Giuseppe as my gift for the birthday boy and his guests.

Happy St. Joseph’s Day. Buon appetito!

  • 9 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
  • sea salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Large pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2/3 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs
  1. Make the breadcrumbs in a skillet or in the oven.
  2. In a skillet:
  3. Warm 2 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of fresh breadcrumbs and stir to coat with oil.
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes.
  6. In the oven:
  7. Place 3/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  8. Using your hands or a fork, gently combine the ingredients.
  9. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree F. oven.
  10. Bake about 8 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until golden brown and crisp.
  11. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
  12. Put a large pot of well-salted water (about 5 quarts) over high heat and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of sea salt when the water comes to a boil.
  13. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water.
  14. While the spaghetti is cooking to al dente, make the anchovy sauce.
  15. Finely chop 6 anchovy fillets cut the remaining 3 into 1/2-inch pieces set aside.
  16. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  17. Add the garlic, red pepper, and finely chopped anchovies.
  18. Cook, stirring until the anchovies dissolve.
  19. Add 1/4 cup of the pasta water and bring the sauce to a rapid simmer for about a minute.
  20. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  21. Stir in the parsley and remaining anchovies.
  22. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
  23. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the skillet with the anchovy sauce.
  24. Toss until the strands are well coated.
  25. Add some of the reserved pasta water if the mixture seems too dry.
  26. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the toasted bread crumbs.
  27. Add the remaining crumbs to the skillet and toss the pasta again.
  28. Transfer the pasta to individual serving bowls.
  29. Top each serving with a sprinkling of the reserved bread crumbs.

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Spaghetti with Anchovies, Pine Nuts and Raisins

This pasta dish features the classic Sicilian flavor combination of savory, sweet and sour, while getting richness from a handful of pine nuts. Toasted breadcrumbs, sprinkled on just before serving, cling to the strands of pasta and provide pleasant crispness. We preferred fluffy panko breadcrumbs over regular powder-fine breadcrumbs, but crushing or chopping the panko before toasting ensured better blending with the pasta. Crush the panko in a zip-close plastic bag with a meat pounder or rolling pin, or simply chop it with a chef's knife on a cutting board. To be extra efficient, pile the pine nuts, raisins and garlic together on the cutting board and chop them all at once.

Quick Monday post: anchovy and breadcrumb cake

I clearly remember my past life’s Sundays: a well known lump in my throat, the Monday unavoidability and the gloomy return to an office that was getting more suffocating every day. Now Sunday has a different mood. If I think about it, if I pause and think about my life, I’m happy. It is not one of those sugary happiness you are not able explain, it is not the fluttering butterflies in the stomach, a feeling I would warmly welcome, though, even tomorrow. This is a conscious happiness.

I know that I am so blessed as to be able to do what I love, tomorrow morning and in the following days: cooking, writing, photography, cooking classes, where every time I’m so lucky to share a different experience with interesting and curious people. In the far from being simple rhythm of my daily life – yes, I am not come yet to the perfect organization and I still live hand to mouth – I also try to frame new experiences, some exercise – not too much, though – and some exciting projects.

You’ll discover one of these exciting projects tomorrow, but for today I want to share with you a quick recipe, suitable for a maniac Monday, just to start the week off right with some information for a conscious purchase of the right sustainable fish.

We start the week with a cheap, sustainable and good for your health fish: anchovies. I won’t tell you anything more and I’ll skip directly to the recipe, while you should go and read Emiko’s thoughtful post about sustainable fish and where to get the information to make a difference. It’s the same post that inspired me this recipe, so go on and enjoy it!

What to Serve with Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

If you loved this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

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