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Spaghetti with anchovies and crumbs (Sicilian recipe)

A poor and simple first course, with video recipe

by Ada Parisi
5 min read
Spaghetti con acciughe e mollica (ricetta siciliana)

Spaghetti with anchovies and crumbs: It is a Traditional Sicilian recipe very poor. That is, the “Pasta C'anciova and Muddica”: take a look also at the VIDEO RECIPE on my YouTube channel. ”

Anciovi” are the anchovies, in salt or in oil. While the “muddica” is the breadcrumbs or crumbs, which in this case is roasted, i.e. “atturrata”. Pasta with anchovies and crumb is another of those recipes where the inspiration of the farmers and hunger have managed to perform the miracle of obtaining exceptional dishes with very few ingredients. As the PASTA ALLA CARRETTIERA, the CACIOCAVALLO ALL'ARGENTIERA, the PASTA WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND BREADCRUMBS, the SICILIAN PASTA or that TO TURIDDU. But also, outside Sicily, the PUTTANESCA or the PASTA ALL'ARRABBIATA.

Anchovy paste and crumb: variants

Like any recipe, even Spaghetti with anchovies and breadcrumbs have endless variations: The basic recipe is extremely simple, made only with extra virgin olive oil, anchovies, garlic and parsley. And of course the toasted breadcrumbs in a little oil, that gives the dish a crunchy note. However, other ingredients can be added: the thinly sliced onion, the chili, the chopped capers. And also a little’ of tomato paste, for those who prefer red sauces. At Capo Pachino they also add a little’ grated bottarga. And also ground almonds with toasted breadcrumbs.

Needless to deny that the balance of spaghetti anchovies and crumb is precarious: is one of those seemingly simple but actually insidious recipes. The main risk is that it is oily and dry. To obtain a creamy but not oily sauce, you will have to skip the pasta al dente in a pan with plenty of cooking water, in order to create an emulsion between oil and water. To make sure it is not dry and dry, You must add the toasted breadcrumbs only at the last moment and in not excessive quantities. Try it and I'm sure it will become one of your favorite recipes for last-minute spaghetti.

At this point I just have to remind you that you can take inspiration from all my SICILIAN RECIPES to vary your menus and wish you a good day!

Spaghetti con acciughe e mollica (ricetta siciliana)


Portions: 4 Preparation: cooking:
Nutrition facts: 250 calories 20 fat
Rating: 4.3/5
( 3 voted )


320 g spaghetti

extra virgin olive oil

8-10 anchovy fillets in salt or oil



50 grams of breadcrumbs


Spaghetti with anchovies and crumbs (Sicilian recipe)

As you can see from the VIDEO RECIPE, Pasta with anchovies and breadcrumbs is very easy to prepare: Finely chop the parsley. If you use salted anchovies, wash them well under running water.

Clean the garlic. Sauté the garlic in plenty of extra virgin olive oil and remove it once it is golden. Turn off the heat and add the anchovies, turning them in hot oil until they melt, as you see in VIDEO RECIPE. The temperature of the oil will be sufficient: Do not cook them, because they will leave a bitter background to the plate. Add also the parsley, always fire off: in this world it will not wither.

Put a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add the breadcrumbs. Mix well and toast the crumb over very low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown.

Boil the pasta in salted water. Drain al dente and stir in the oil and anchovies, gradually adding cooking water, until a creamy emulsion is created.

Serve the pasta immediately adding the toasted breadcrumbs (the so-called 'dough atturrata') only before tasting. And Bon Appetit!


OPTIONS: Among the main variants, the use of thinly sliced onion in the sauté together with garlic. Yet, adding to the sauce a tablespoon of tomato paste for a red sauce. Or the addition of capers in salt thoroughly washed and chopped. Finally, you can add ground almonds to toasted breadcrumbs, or season the pasta with a little' grated bottarga before adding the breadcrumbs.

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