“Recipe from the Washington Post. Good olive oil and good anchovies are essential to this recipe. Fortunately, tney are not as expensive or hard to find as they used to be. Use a high-quality imported brand of Italian or Spanish anchovy fillets in olive oil. Prep & cook time are estimates; it can all be done in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat, then salt the water generously.
  2. Add the pasta, stir to separate the noodles and cook according to the package directions (until al dente).
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.
  4. Add the anchovies and their oil (about 2 tablespoons) and use a fork to mash them up a bit, though there should still be some distinguishable pieces.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste and chili pepper to form a sauce.
  6. Cook for another minute or two, or until all of the ingredients are well blended.
  7. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
  8. Drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.
  9. Transfer the pasta to the skillet; gently toss the pasta and sauce until thoroughly combined.
  10. Add a splash or two of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce and prevent the spaghetti strands from becoming sticky.
  11. Transfer the dressed pasta to warmed individual shallow bowls; serve immediately.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a