Blog, Recipes

Spaghetti atterrati Recipe


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red chili
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 325 g spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese (to serve)
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 50 g walnut (halved or diced)
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts

Prep and cook time: 30 min.

Serves: 4 people

This delectable pasta dish is a sure people pleaser and can feed a family of four. You can use quality cured anchovies from a jar or try to find anchovy fillets from a local Italian deli. Either way, the salty fish adds a nice twist to classic tomato-based pasta sauces.

To get started on the sauce, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. If you use anchovies that are packed in oil, make sure to drain the oil before placing them in the heated olive oil. Allow the anchovy fillets to melt.

Now for some flavor. Without removing the skin, crush the garlic clove. Chop the chili into fine dices and add the chili and garlic to the frying pan for a couple of minutes. Wait for the anchovies to color.

Chop the two tomatoes and incorporate them to the mix. Turn down the heat to low to allow the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes. Wait for the sauce to thicken. Add a pinch of black pepper to season the sauce. Set aside, keeping the sauce warm.

You will need a food processor to make the wonderfully crunchy pasta topping. Begin by toasting the four tablespoons of breadcrumbs in a frying pan without any oil or butter, then put them in a food processor.

Chop the parsley leaves and add them to the food processor, along with the 50 g of walnuts. Set the food processor to blitz until you have a pulpy mixture.  (Note that you can do this by chopping all of the ingredients very finely with a sharp knife; it will just take much longer, whereas a food processor will save you the headache!)

Cook the pasta in salted water. You will want it to be al dente, not well-cooked. Click here for some interesting ways to cook perfectly al-dente pasta.

Drain the pasta for all of a couple of tablespoons of the water you used to boil it, and add the pasta to the sauce. You will want to mix it well, and maybe add a little bit more of the water used to cook the pasta if the sauce needs to be loosened a bit.

Serve your delicious spaghetti atterrati in bowls topped off with a nice amount of the walnut, parsley, and toasted breadcrumb topping and – of course – a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Yum! Dinner is served.

Here’s a fun tip for eating the spaghetti: if you want to live like a real Italian, forgo the knife and twirl your pasta instead of cutting it! Scoop up  a mouthful of pasta up with the fork and twirl it around the fork, using a large spoon as a support base at first. It may take a little getting used to, but eventually you’ll be able be able to twirl the spaghetti without the spoon and eating your delicious pasta like an expert. After all, when in Rome…

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