This spicy spaghetti with capers and anchovies is loaded with umami flavors from crushed red pepper, anchovies, capers, and a drizzle of anchovy oil.
This recipe for spicy spaghetti is one of my absolute favorite pasta recipes of all time. It’s SO easy to prepare and is loaded with tons of flavor. The best part is that it only requires a handful of easy-to-source ingredients, so it’s not a wallet-busting recipe either!
How to Make this Spaghetti with Capers and Anchovies:
To make this spicy spaghetti with capers and anchovies, you only need a few ingredients and you’ll be rewarded with a rich, delicious recipe that’s easy and quick to make.
First, you’ll fry up a diced onion in a little oil. Next, you’ll add capers and a few anchovies. Let them fry until the capers begin to turn very slightly golden and the anchovies begin to melt into the oil. Use your spoon to mash the anchovies; you want the anchovies for their flavor, not their texture! At this point, you can drizzle in a teaspoon or so of the oil from the anchovy can. Trust me on this one, it makes it SO good. You’ll want to throw in a few generous shakes of crushed red pepper at this point too!
Next, add garlic and let it sizzle briefly.
From there, you just need to add a pat of butter and let it brown slightly. Next, deglaze with half a cup of dry white wine or even chicken stock. Let it boil and reduce and then add a can of diced tomatoes or whole-peeled tomatoes. Finally, you just need to let it all party together for about 30-40 minutes, adding more liquid as necessary. That’s it!
While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Right before serving, toss the water in with the sauce and add the pasta and toss to coat until the pasta is glossy and beautiful. After that, it’s mangia! mangia!
You will absolutely love this spaghetti with capers and anchovies. It requires only a few simple pantry ingredients but it doesn’t skimp on flavor.
Looking for more pasta recipes? Check my archives!
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Spaghetti with Capers and Anchovies
- Wide pot
- Large pot
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons capers drained and rinsed
- 4-5 anchovies in oil
- 1-2 teaspoons anchovy oil from the can
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup dry white wine or vegetable stock or water
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes or whole-peeled tomatoes
- Pinch of sugar if necessary
- 16 ounces dry spaghetti
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start the Sauce:
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes until it begins to soften.
- Add the capers and anchovies and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the capers begin to turn golden brown. Using your spoon, mash the anchovies into the man until they 'melt'. Drizzle in 1-2 teaspoons of the anchovy oil from the can and season everything with a few generous shakes of crushed red pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute or until it's fragrant. Do not burn the garlic.
- Melt the butter into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until it is bubbly and beginning to brown slightly.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes until it reduces slightly. Turn heat to low.
Simmer the Sauce:
- Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Simmer, covered, over the lowest heat for 30 minutes. Add more liquid (water or stock) as necessary if the sauce needs to be loosened up. Stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking. Taste and season again with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Add a pinch of sugar if your tomatoes are acidic.
Cook the Spaghetti:
- As the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, about 9-10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Drain the spaghetti and add the cooking water to the sauce and stir to combine. Add the spaghetti and, using tongs, toss to coat with the sauce until the spaghetti is glossy. Turn off the heat.
- Divide the spaghetti between shallow bowls. Serve with parmesan cheese or black pepper if desired. Enjoy!