Spaghetti with White Anchovies & Capers

Spaghetti with White Anchovies & Capers


  • 1 lb spaghetti

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 6 whole white anchovies, drained & roughly chopped – more to taste

  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced or grated – more to taste

  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes – more to taste

  • 2 tbsp nonpareil capers

  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  • salt & pepper

  • reserved pasta water


  1. Make the bread crumb topping:

  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, lemon zest, and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season lightly with salt & pepper. Mix thoroughly.

  3. In a small frying pan over med-high heat, lightly toast the bread crumb mixture. Do not allow to get too dark or it will ruin the dish. Remove from heat and set aside.

  4. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to boil. Add the pasta and stir.

  5. In a large frying pan over med heat, add the remaining olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 1 minute.

  6. Add the anchovies to the pan and continue sautéing until the pasta has cooked 2 minutes less than the package’s cooking instructions indicate for al dente. If you’ve timed everything correctly, the anchovies should be sautéed for just a few minutes before the pasta is ready.

  7. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

  8. Add capers and pasta to the pan containing the anchovies. Gently toss to evenly coat the pasta with the anchovy & oil mixture. If too dry, add enough pasta water to create a sauce. Continue to sauté until the pasta is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes more.

  9. Remove from heat, add 2/3 of the bread crumb mixture, and toss.

  10. Place on a serving platter and garnish with remaining 1/3 of the bread crumb mixture.

  11. Serve immediately.

This site contains product affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.