Spaghetti with Anchovy Spiked Olive Oil & Parmesan Breadcrumbs

February 25, 2014

Author Notes: Parmesan and anchovies, two gold mines of umami, meet pasta, garlic and toasted bread crumbs. You may want to invest in some good quality extra virgin olive oil, parmesan and anchovies, because it’s about all you will be getting in this simple pasta dish. Bare-bone pasta, but sometimes it cannot get better than that. I especially like doing this with fresh spaghetti or other similar thin noodles, but if dry spaghetti is all you have – no worries – it works fine too.QueenSashy

Serves: 6


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 large anchovy filets in oil, drained and dried (about 1.25 oz)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 3/4-1 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • salt and freshly grated black pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and toast them for a couple of minutes until dark golden and fragrant. Remove the breadcrumbs from the skillet and let them cool completely. When the breadcrumbs are completely cool mix them with parmesan.
  2. In a food processor, process the anchovies, garlic and olive oil into emulsion. Season with a pinch of pepper. (Leave the emulsion in the processor, one more ingredient yet to come.)
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to desired tenderness. Drain the pasta and reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  4. Add the cooking water to the anchovy emulsion and give it another pulse or two to combine.
  5. In a large skillet mix the pasta with the anchovy oil and cook shaking the pan for another minute. Transfer the pasta to plates, sprinkle generously with the parmesan breadcrumb mixture and serve immediately.

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