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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Garlic Anchovy Pasta

In Italian cooking, anchovies are extremely common. They don't add so much of a "fishy" taste as much as a salty, umami punch of flavor. For that, I always keep anchovy paste, oil or filets on hand to give pasta dishes like this a boost of flavor.

This is a great pasta that I consider a "pantry pasta" - you can use virtually any greens you have on hand, whether it be arugula, baby kale, or the called-for spinach. It's the kind of dish I almost always have everything on hand to throw together.

I love the kick of heat that the red pepper flakes give this dish, but if you're not partial to spice, start with a smaller amount.

garlic anchovy pasta

Garlic Anchovy Pasta



Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Garlic Anchovy Pasta



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the extra-virgin oil over medium heat. Add the anchovy paste, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook until aromatic, 2 minutes. Add the spinach and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. In a large serving bowl, toss together the breadcrumb mixture, cooked pasta and half of the cheese. Add in the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and serve.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
62 grams
14 grams
21 grams
Saturated Fat
4 grams
6 milligrams
251 milligrams
3 grams
3 grams
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2 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Jerel Rosati

    Never tell people, especially Americans, that you have used anchovies “before” they try and eat the dish. It’s a necessary white lie in this country of food closed-mindedness. After they have eaten and enjoyed it, tell and surprise them. They’ll be shocked but hopefully have a more open mind. I have done this throughout my life in the states, and it has worked every time. A first generation Italian-Italian-American from Napoli and Firenze. 😊

  • Author's avatar image
    Matthew Latsha

    Giada, is there something you’d recommend in place of the Anchovy Paste or Anchovies??? I was going to make this for my sister, but she said a HUUGE NO to the Anchovy. Thanks Gurl

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