Spaghetti with Anchovies, Dried Chili, and Pangritata

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From Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef Takes Off. Says it serves four (but for real? No way it’s only for four, that’s massive portions).

For the pangritata (breadcrumbs flavored up and fried, also sometimes called “poor man’s parmesan”):

1/2 c olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 good handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
7 oz fresh breadcrumbs (larger sized, not fine)
salt and freshly ground pepper

1 lbs spaghetti
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
16 anchovy fillets (I used about 3/4 of this)
juice of two lemons
2 small dried red chillies, crumbled

First, make the pangritata. Put the olive oil in a hot, thick-bottomed pan. Add garlic, thyme, and breadcrumbs; they will fry and begin to toast. Stir for a couple of minutes until the breadcrumbs are really crisp and golden. Season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper and drain on paper towels.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente. While it is cooking, put the oil and garlic in a pan and heat gently. As the garlic begins to soften, lay the anchovy fillets over the top. After a minute you will see them begin to melt. Squeeze in the lemon juice and sprinkle in the dried chillies. Toss in the drained spaghetti and coat it in the sauce. Taste a bit of pasta – it may need a little more lemon juice and a little extra seasoning. Serve straight away, sprinkled really generously with the pangritata.


I halved this recipe in every way except I still went with two chillies and two cloves of garlic. I thought that came out perfectly. Also, I had cherry tomatoes laying around, so I halved and fried them along with the anchovies, and that was a great addition. Knowing how it tastes now, next time I will add capers as well.

The pangritata was really good. I was out of fresh thyme, but had a little fresh sage and rosemary in the fridge, so I chopped that up and used it instead – delicious. Pangritata is basically garlic bread croutons in your pasta. I made the breadcrumbs from some Como bread (which is a bit sour), and I think that gave them a great, stronger flavor.

Final Thoughts:

It looks boring, doesn’t it? If you don’t mind a little anchoviness, it’s so, so good. We both really liked it. It must be eaten hot to avoid an overly fishy flavor. Doubling the chili for the proportion was perfect for us, but a little bit more heat for Nevan than he cared for, so he opted to go with a salad instead. Perfect quick meal and I will make it again. Also, I’ll be making pangritata again for other things (and asking Dave “you like my tatas?”).

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