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Linguine with anchovies and garlic recipe

Linguine with anchovies and garlic recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta

Need a quick mid-week supper fix? This is a simple, flavourful dish literally prepared in minutes if you use fresh pasta. It's a typical Christmas eve dish in many parts of Europe. The chopped up anchovies break down into the sauce.

57 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (500g) packet linguine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 175g (6 oz) anchovies
  • 225ml (8 fl oz) water

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:15min

  1. Brown garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Stir in parsley and chopped anchovies. Add water to cover, and simmer for a few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook linguine according to packet instructions and drain. Toss with anchovy sauce and serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(64)

Reviews in English (51)

by Cyn Coriell

This was absolutly amazing. Everyone needs to try this delicious recipe. I did doctor it up some by adding chopped green onions, extra garlic, chopped celery, and about a teaspoon of crushed red pepper. When the dish was done I threw the pasta right into the anchovy skillet along with a chopped tomato, two more chopped green onion, and a handful of chopped parsley--WOW!!! I'm sure without the additions it's still good, but I recommend adding your own personal touch.-13 Nov 2003


I'm am anchovy fan and this is THE way to do anchovies. I'm not a fan of linguini, though, so I normally make this with spaghetti. A few tips: I don't add any water. I use more olive oil, though. You don't really need to simmer anchovies, just heat them through. Don't let them fall apart completely, you want some fillet pieces in there. This recipe relies on quality ingredients, so get the GOOD anchovies and oil. ALWAYS Use fresh parsley. I add it when I toss the pasta with the sauce, I don't cook it. I also add a lot of fresh black pepper. There's also no need for parmesan, it would just make this too salty.-25 Aug 2004


This is a christmas eve dish in our familty. It is a part of the feast of seven fishes. We let the oil cook for hours with the anchovies and garlic in it. It gives it great flavor. When we do the anchovies they are chopped up very small and then they boil down in the oil so that those who are not fond of looking at the anchovies don't see them. Very good recipe..and the longer it simmers the better it is!!!!-26 Dec 2007

Dinner Tonight: Spaghetti with Garlic, Anchovies, and Chili Recipe

The magic of garlic and chili together in a skillet is enough to build a hundred pastas on. In fact, I'm willing to try almost anything that improvises on this marvelous combination, especially when the humble anchovy is added to the mix. Like in this Orecchiette with Broccoli I made a few weeks ago, the anchovy takes the already spicy and nutty concoction and adds a deep roundness, as the little fillets seem to melt into the olive oil and disappear completely. Not fishy or overly strong, they simply make everything taste better.

So when I was looking over an old New York Times article from Mark Bittman about quick ways to cook dinner, this line stuck out: "A Roman classic: slivered garlic, with six or so anchovy fillets and a dried hot chili or two. Dress pasta with this." Maybe the garlic/chili/anchovy combination was not only a good start to a pasta, but good enough all on its own.

I made sure to get some good-quality anchovies and fancy bronze-die pasta, and dinner came together as soon as my pasta finished cooking. It was a subtle dish, to be sure, and I was glad I splurged on the pasta, because it's the most important taste in the dish.


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.

Linguine con alici (Linguini with Anchovies)

Linguine con alici, or Linguini with Anchovies, is another quick and easy dish for those days when you don’t really feel like cooking but you want to eat something tasty. It’s a riff off of the classic ajo e ojo with anchovies.


  • 400g (16 oz) linguini or other long pasta
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • A small can of anchovy fillets (50g/2 oz)
  • A sprig or two of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Olive oil


Start as you would for aglio, olio e peperoncino, by very gently browning a few cloves of garlic—for this variation, I like to chop the garlic rather than using slightly crushed cloves—in fruity olive oil. When the garlic is just beginning to brown, add some red pepper flakes and, almost immediately thereafter, a can of anchovy fillets. Allow to cook gently over low heat, stirring from time to time, until the anchovies have almost entirely ‘melted’. Add a pinch of salt (not too much, since the anchovies are already salty) and chopped parsley, stir and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, cook your linguine (spaghetti are also excellent with this sauce) al dente in well salted water, drain (but not too well) and add to the skillet.

Mix well and allow the spaghetti to cook over gentle heat for just 30 seconds or so, long enough so that the pasta absorbs a bit of the sauce and any excess liquid evaporates. Taste for salt and serve immediately. Buon appetito!


Like ajo e ojo itself, the key to success when making Linguini with Anchovies lies in the fruitiness of the olive oil and the freshness of the garlic. Go easy on the salt, however, as the anchovies, of course, are themselves quite salty. Of course, if you use anchovies packed in salt—which you need to rinse and fillet yourself under running water—the flavor will be even better, but then you will have departed from ‘quick and easy’ territory.

As for measurements, Linguini with Anchovies another dish where they are not all that important—or rather, they can be varied according to taste. As for oil, I use just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Just leave any excess oil in the bottom of the skillet as you serve. But don’t skimp: this pasta is supposed to slither on your plate!

Linguine alla Puttanesca Linguine in a Southern Italian Sauce with Anchovies & Capers

Are you looking for a delicious recipe with a difference? If you are, you’ve found it! Here’s my linguine in a southern italian sauce with anchovies & capers for you to enjoy.

There’s nothing quite like the taste of a good pasta puttanesca. It’s a real Italian classic and, when I’m back in Naples, my mother cooks this for me at least once a week. She always says that it reminds her of my late father – apparently this was the dish they both ordered on their first date. Well, it must have been pretty good – otherwise I wouldn’t be here, would I?


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained & chopped
  • Half a teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 50g capers in salt, rinsed under cold water
  • 70g pitted Leccino olives in brine or oil, drained & halved
  • 1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 400g linguine
  • Salt to taste

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Feast your eyes on the finest linguine in a southern italian sauce with anchovies & capers! It’s straightforward and fun to make this great dish. Simply follow the instructions below and get the perfect result.

Step By Step

  1. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil and fry the garlic and anchovies for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the chilli flakes, capers and olives and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes keep stirring.
  3. Pour in the cherry tomatoes, stir well and gently simmer for 8 minutes with the lid off, stirring every couple of minutes. Season with salt, remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Cook the linguine in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. To get the perfect al dente bite, cook the pasta for 1 minute less than instructed on the packet. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and tip back into the same pan it was cooked in.
  5. Pour the puttanesca sauce over the linguine and stir all together for 30 seconds to allow the flavours to combine fully.
  6. Serve immediately – without any kind of cheese!

GINO’S TIP: Don’t try making this recipe with fresh tomatoes – you need to use tinned tomatoes to get the correct consistency.

Once you’re done, simply sit back and enjoy your linguine in a southern italian sauce with anchovies & capers and don’t forget to check out other great authentic Italian recipes including great antipasti recipes, Italian pasta recipes, Italian soup recipes, Italian beef dishes and authentic pizza recipes.

Linguine with Anchovies and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I like the sharpness of anchovies, the freshness of red bell pepper and the flavor of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil leaves, olive oil and chili. Your mouth will be bursting with flavors, and it is ready in less than 30 minutes. I will never say that it tasted exactly like what I ate at the restaurant, but the end result is fantastic!

300 g. / 10.5 oz. boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into medium-sized pieces

250 g. / 9 oz. linguine pasta

3 anchovy filets (packed in salt) and 1 tablespoon water

1 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced

3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped

3 tablespoons of finely chopped basil leaves

1 red chili, de-seeded and crushed

Place the anchovies and water in a blender and process to a smooth paste.

Cook the paste following package directions. Drain.

In the meantime, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, chili and anchovy paste. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken cubes and basil leaves. Sauté for about 5 minutes.

Pour the ½ cup of water and the chicken bouillon. Cover the stockpot, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the pasta and the Parmesan. Mix well and serve warm. Enjoy!

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Pasta with Anchovies, Garlic, Lemon, and Breadcrumbs

For weeks during her first trimester, as our little Jude baked in utero, growing from the size of a blueberry to a Mission fig, Kristen ate only white foods.

Bagels with cream cheese. Yogurt drizzled with honey. Gallons of full-fat milk and crackers. Pasta dressed with olive oil and a dash of salt. No meat, no greens. She did allow for the occasional bit of brown to sneak in — whole-wheat sandwiches smeared with almond butter. And she had her chocolate, of course.

Morning sickness made meals a treacherous activity. Every time Kristen opened the fridge, it was like facing a firing squad of food aversions.

But I had to eat, too. As always, I wanted something deeply satisfying, even if it was plain pasta with olive oil. So I started making this dish with staples we had on hand. It’s a classic pantry raid. If your kitchen is decently stocked, you can pretty much make some version of this dish any night of the week.

The anchovies here melt into the oil, spiked with red pepper flakes and garlic. You get the saltiness combined with the aromatics. The toasted breadcrumbs give a nice mouthfeel, while the lemon sends off sparks of acid.

It’s super simple, yet ethereal. I think we ate this for three nights straight once. And we still eat it. When Kristen asks for “pregnancy pasta,” I know exactly what she means.

Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Grate the bread on the large holes of a box grater (or pulse in a processor) to make ¾ cup coarse crumbs.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, tossing frequently, until light golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the anchovies and garlic, and cook until the anchovies dissolve into the oil and the garlic is golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peperoncino. Ladle in 2 cups of pasta cooking water and let simmer rapidly. Reduce to about 1 cup while the pasta cooks.

Once the pasta is al dente, remove with tongs and add to the sauce. Add the parsley and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce, adding a little more pasta water if it seems dry. Add the bread crumbs and toss to mix.

  1. For the bread crumbs: Cut your favorite bread into 1 inch slices (remove the crust) and bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes each side or until lightly toasted. Mash by hand or blend in a food processor until crumbs.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
  3. Set aside 4-6 anchovies for garnish. Chop the remaining anchovies into pieces and sauté together with the garlic and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the anchovies disintegrate into a paste.
  4. Simultaneously, cook the pasta until just shy of al dente and drain it. Add the pasta to the anchovy mixture and then mix in the bread crumbs and the parsley. Serve immediately with an anchovy garnish and a sprinkle of black pepper. (Feel free to add more anchovies above for a stronger taste. If the resulting pasta seems dry, drizzle with olive oil).

Ed's Review

If not me, then who? Who will stand up for the little guy? For the bullied, small, and swarthy. For those who make people recoil with fear and ignorance. If not me, then no one. So give me your huddled masses yearning to be free. I'll eat them for breakfast!

Here's to the anchovy! For he's a jolly good fellow! Equal rights for the anchovy! Down with the bland, up with the anchovy! I love anchovies! Viva l'acciuga!

Now this isn't easy to say, let alone support, in a country that has taken Italy's favorite pizza topping and replaced it with Canadian bacon and pineapple. I am Sisyphus, I know, but what to do? I could try something dramatic, like a march on Washington, or a hunger strike, or call Bill Maher. But no, to me these solutions seem ineffective, unpleasant and/or whiney.

All I can do, my friends, is try to educate and open eyes -- one Sunday Pasta at a time, one tongue at a time. So here goes.

There are 144 species of anchovies in the world, but most people first think of the Mediterranean variety, which are among the smallest, only an inch or two long. Rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, they are good for your brain, even when cured in salt, preserved in olive oil, and then packaged in a little tin. Anchovies are ubiquitous in Italy. In small quantities, anchovies add a nuanced salty flavor to almost any dish. In large quantities, hear them roar.

Buon Appetito!
Ed Garrubbo, Editor

6 thoughts on &ldquoLinguine alle Acciughe (Anchovies)&rdquo

i make it similar except to your recipe I add about 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes, 1 cup of white wine, 1 cup of sliced cremini mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of capers along with 1 head of broccoli florets.Mmmmm. Even those who “think” they don’t like anchovies should give it a shot…..they’ll be surprised how they will quickly change their minds!

oh I forgot to mention that sometimes instead of parsley I will also use fresh chopped cilantro or even basil to change the flavor for whatever I’m in the mood for. This recipe is VERY versatile

great! i will give it a try.Ed

white anchovies with this, or the “regular” ones? Thanks for reminding me
of the “simple” dishes that let me taste flavors that are not complicated but
just plain delicious.

This recipe brings back sweet memories of celebrating The Feasts of San Giuseppe for my Dad. Sometimes my Mom would make a tomato sauce and just add the tin(s) of anchovies depending on the amount of sauce in the sauce where the anchovies would just melt! My mom usually made this recipe using the thickest spaghetti. We would also have this recipe on Ash Wednesday. I just recently learned that the toasted bread crumbs symbolize the “sawdust” for St. Joseph’s work as a carpenter. Some of my friends react in horror if I even mention the ingredient “anchovy!” Thanks for sticking up for “the little guy!” Will enjoy making this recipe again in memory of my Dad, Joseph!

I love anchovies. I buy tgecanchovies brand Recchia in a tin using these whole anchovies packed in salt, wash them off and filet them. I find they have the best flavor. Sometimes i mix them with my capers from Pantilleria.

Another Year in Recipes

It’s sad when an old friend lets you down. This week, still in my older-books mode, I went looking for recipes in Jack Scott’s The Complete Book of Pasta. I bought it when it came out in 1968, five years before Marcella Hazan appeared on the culinary scene and started a great change in Italian cooking in American homes. Scott’s was a wonderful book to us then. (Tom simply drooled over its centerfold, shown below.) It gave us some recipes that have been favorites ever since. But many other Italian cookbooks have joined my collection since then, so I hadn’t gone back to it for anything new in years. Alas, it was not a good idea.

First I tried linguine allegre – translated as lively linguine with anchovies. It’s actually a mongrel sort of sauce. You sauté anchovies, celery, red bell pepper, capers, olives, basil, parsley, and garlic in butter and olive oil. Stir this mixture into a simple tomato sauce and simmer it all for 40 minutes. Now, all those flavors are good, but having so many of them cook together for so long blurred their distinctions and didn’t produce any synergy. As opposed to the Spanish recipes I wrote about two weeks ago, in this case the whole seemed like less than the sum of its parts.

An oddity was a direction to cook the linguine with less than the usual amount of salt in the water because of the saltiness of the anchovies. I think you’d need a fantastically sensitive palate for that to make a difference.

Well, I said to myself, even Homer nods. Let’s try another one.

Tagliolini freschi con carote, or fresh noodles with carrots, caught my eye because carrots aren’t often a featured companion to pasta. In fact, that name ignores two other principal ingredients: sliced mushrooms and julienne strips of prosciutto, quickly sautéed in butter and oil with the diced, precooked carrots. It sounded as if it’d be very nice on homemade egg noodles.

It was nice enough, but there wasn’t anywhere near enough of it. The recipe called for 6 mushrooms, 4 carrots, and 8 slices of prosciutto. The only liquid was ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water, added to the sauté pan at the end. This was supposed to be enough to dress 1½ pounds of fresh egg noodles. Fortunately, I doubted that, so I cooked only half as much pasta. Even so, there were still a lot of nearly naked noodles on the plates, with hardly any flavor of the other ingredients.

The recipe also called for grated parmigiano to be passed at the table, but trying a little on one forkful seemed only to emphasize the dryness of the dish. It did need salt and pepper, which weren’t mentioned in the recipe at all. Overall, another disappointment.

I almost feel guilty to think that this book, which gave me so much pleasure in the past, now seems to be so unrewarding. But a lot has happened since 1968. Many trips to Italy have exposed me to wonderful regional pasta preparations. I’ve published 60 of my own pasta recipes in my two cookbooks and enjoyed many more from books by other people that have appeared over the years. There’s far more access to excellent Italian ingredients and more knowledge of how to bring out the best in them. So dishes that were once new and exciting now have a lot of powerful palatal competition. I guess, as the philosopher Zeno didn’t quite say, you can never dip a ladle into the same tomato sauce twice.


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