Nothing like a good pasta dish or should I ask is there ever a bad pasta? This Anchovy Pasta is made in an anchovy sauce which soaks up the pasta, olives and cheese, leaving you with a true umami taste. Some people love anchovies and others, not so much. Hopefully you are of the love anchovies family! If not, read on to see if the suggested substitutions work for you because these ingredients are all things Mediterranean style cooking.
A few simple Italian ingredients that bring out the best big bold flavors!
We haven't had this anchovies pasta in a long time so whipping it up today reminded me of how easy and quick it is. This is one of my husbands favorite pasta meals and this Pasta Ziti Al Tonno Calabrese Recipe 10 Minutes and let's not get started with Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino it's made so often and we love it. These recipes are all easy, quick and delicious!
I am always in the kitchen, every day, cooking is like breathing for me and I barely feel normal if I don't cook. Recently our schedules have been hectic and my spice business keeps me busy 24/7 (Thank You!) so meals in the evening have got to be quick but always flavorful!
You will love not only the ease and taste of this recipe, but the speed at which it comes together!
Why You Will Love This Anchovy Pasta
These are the reasons that we love it, now let's see if you will love it too for it's;
- Simplicity: This anchovy pasta is a great recipe for professionals, home cooks and beginners.
- Speed: Have all the ingredients ready, it moves quickly.
- Ingredients: These Mediterranean ingredients are healthy, a few and great quality.
- Taste: The taste is, what can I say, a little salty from the olives and anchovies, rich from the olive oil and umami like. You have to make it to taste it but don't be surprised if you find yourself scraping off the tongs is so delicious!
Ingredients For Anchovy Pasta
Here are the few, good quality ingredients that you will need for this anchovy pasta.
Pasta We use spaghetti here but you can use any type of pasta.
Salt It's always a good idea to generously salt the pasta water. Have you ever watched a food video and they say add salt to the water and you see a tiny bit of salt being added? Pasta water needs salt to cook and flavor the recipe.
Anchovies Store-bought anchovies usually in a jar. Leave 2 behind for serving/garnish.
Garlic We use quite a lot of garlic and slice it to avoid it burning too quickly if minced. Feel free to mince it if you keep the heat lower. I slice and then rough chop, works.
Cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano / Parmesan cheese.
Olives Pitted or pit them yourself and chop.
Olive oil To start the cooking process off with garlic and anchovies.
Seasoning & Spices we are using black pepper, pasta seasoning and Calabrese spice.
Pasta water You may or may not need or want it but for a loose and slightly creamy anchovy pasta, add about a half cup of pasta water. Please wait for the pasta to cook before using the pasta water. The starchier the water the creamier the pasta sauce.
How To Make Anchovy Pasta
Cook the Pasta: Boil the water for the pasta. You can use the water in the pot method or the kettle if you're in a hurry. Once boiling add the salt and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
Garlic: Slice the garlic. If you prefer to roughly chop it after slicing then go ahead, the garlic is then not too big when serving. My suggestion would be not to mince the garlic for this recipe, it will burn before getting a chance to infuse with the spice.
Not a lover of seeing garlic in your food?
Garlic - We love lots of garlic but you can adjust to suit your family. If you don't like seeing chopped or sliced garlic in your food you can mince it. Minced garlic does burn quicker though so watch it.
Chili - You want just a kick of heat so a pinch of dried chili flakes will do. We use the Calabrese spice which offers a taste of Calabrian flare so if you have the Smell and Taste Calabrese spice, I would suggest use it in this recipe.
Anchovies - Chop the anchovies leaving 2 or 3 behind for serving.
Olives - You can use any olives however I would suggest they are soft and I find that the Kalamata are softer. Drain and discard the liquid if using from a packet before using. I prefer removing the stone before they hit the pan, it cooks better. It also prevents someone biting into a pip in the middle of this delicious anchovy pasta!
Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) - It goes without saying that it should be freshly grated at home and not store bought grated. When recipes like this anchovy pasta and this Pasta Pronto, have a few ingredients it's important to not compromise on the quality because those are the only ingredients that will pull in flavors.
TIP: Pecorino Romano has more salt than Parmigiano so take that into consideration if using Pecorino in this recipe since we have anchovies and olives which are already salted.
If you don't like anchovies firstly why not? Seriously kidding ...😉 and second yes you can either omit them in which case you might as well make this Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino recipe because the taste is in the anchovy sauce with this recipe.
Hardly, but only to mimic, not just the taste (since you don't like anchovies) but the inspired idea of a pasta dish.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Soy sauce
- Fish sauce
You can create a sauce in mind, add them to a pasta fish recipe whichever way you prefer. The idea is to create a umami flavor without anchovies.
More Mediterranean Recipes
FAQ Anchovy Pasta
Why add anchovies?
Anchovies are not only salted, they have a meaty, umami flavor and when you add them to the pan, they melt instantly which creates a meaty tasty sauce. Added bonus tip (source of omega-3).
Can I use whole olives?
Yes you can but the idea of removing the stone is to not take away the focus on enjoying the anchoy pasta while removing olive pips. It's easier for the olives to hold the olive oil and anchovy pan juices when they are halved as opposed to whole.
How do you pitt an olive?
Work with one olive at a time. Lay it on a board and use a small sharp knife to cut it around (over the pip). Gently press the olive with your finger and pip will pop, remove it and you already have 2 halves of an olive. Don't crush the olives.
Quick Pasta Recipes
Quick, easy and very tasty pasta recipes!
The anchovies are left to heat and melt in olive oil on a slow and gentle heat until they melt into rich anchovy sauce. Heat the oil and cook the garlic minutes before the pasta is ready.
Everyone loves a fantastic umami sauce over anything and topped over spaghetti, finished with fresh Italian cheese is the perfect recipe!
- This recipe goes very quickly so like most recipes have everything ready to go.
- Olives pitted, tomatoes halved, anchovies chopped and some left aside. If using a fresh herb to garnish then do that before so you can serve it while it's still hot. The same with grating the cheese. Enjoy!
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Spaghetti With Anchovies, Garlic, Olives and Parmesan
- 400 grams spaghetti
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced. 6 small or 4 medium sized.
- 6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped, set 2 aside for serving.
- ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup pitted olives
- 1 teaspoon Pasta seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Calabrese spice
- chopped Italian parsley for garnish
- In a large pot bring salted water to the boil for the spaghetti. Cook according to packet instructions or until done. Al dente, 'to the tooth' done. Reserve a cup of pasta water incase you need it. See notes below.
- Heat a large pan then add the olive oil to heat. Cook the garlic and add the Calabrese spice/chili. Cook for a minute or so until the garlic is a lighten golden brown. Use a wooden spoon to gently bring them together over medium heat but if the heat is too high or low adjust it. You want the oil and ingredients to heat slowly as you keep checking in to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Add the olives and anchovies and when the anchovies melt the sauce is ready, about 5 minutes in total.
- The pasta should be ready by now so use a ladle or tongs to bring the spaghetti directly from the boiling water to the pan. NO DRAINING THE PASTA! This is what will give you a nice creamy sauce, the bits of water carried across with the spaghetti. Add a few more spoons of the pasta water for a creamier sauce. (see more on this in the notes below)
- Add the Parmesan cheese and combine.
- Turn the heat off but leave the pan on the stove while you lift the spaghetti with the tongs and get it coated into the sauce and cheese. If you need a little more olive oil or pasta water then add it to get a delicious creamy sauce. Add the parsley, serve with a sprinkle of pasta spice and more cheese.
Olives pitted, tomatoes halved, anchovies chopped and some left aside. If using a fresh herb to garnish then chop it before so you can serve the pasta while it's still hot. The same with grating the cheese. Enjoy!