4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or use some of the oil from the anchovy tin)
1 cup day-old sourdough breadcrumbs
250g spaghetti
1 x 47.5g tin Ortiz anchovy fillets
3 cloves garlic (or more), chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cup flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped

I think it is fair to say that Italian is one of my favourite cuisines; it’s certainly the one I’m most inspired by. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Italy, focussed mostly on Tuscany and Rome and while I would love to go to both of those places again, it’s Sicily that I have a real hunger to visit. And, specifically, it’s this dish that I would love to try the most. Once again, it shows the flair for using a few simple ingredients to make something magical and the thriftiness of using crunchy breadcrumbs in place of cheese. It’s essential here to have everything chopped and ready to go so the sauce can finish cooking in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Why is it serving two? Partly because it’s an easy amount of pasta to cook and handle, and partly because the vegetarians in the household tend to have the same thing minus the anchovies. Often I’ll make a double batch of pasta, have aglio e olio (basically the sauce below minus the anchovies and lemons) ready to go, and have everything waiting in two pans while the spaghetti gets divided. Personally, I like more anchovies than this, but that is a my own preference – add as many or as few as you prefer. It’s essential to use the best anchovies you can find – Ortiz has been my go-to anchovy brand forever.


1.Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, add the breadcrumbs and fry gently until golden.
2.Drain on paper towels.
3.Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water for a couple of minutes less than the packet directions (you’ll finish cooking it in the pan).
4.While the pasta is cooking, wipe out the frying pan, add the remaining oil and the anchovy fillets and cook over a low heat until they begin to melt.
5.Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute or two.
6.Add the lemon zest and juice.
7.Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, and add pasta to the pan, tossing well.
8.Add the parsley and a little of the water to loosen.
9.Serve in warmed bowls topped with the breadcrumbs.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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