Anchovy pasta with crispy breadcrumbs recipe

(16 ratings)

Anchovy pasta with crispy breadcrumbs is a simple pasta dish that is made memorable by a flavourful sauce and added crunch from the toppings.

anchovy pasta
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories515 Kcal26%
Fat14 g20%
Saturated Fat2 g10%
Carbohydrates78 g30%

Anchovy pasta with crispy breadcrumbs is a twist on a classic pasta puttanesca. The rich tomato sauce is enhanced with salty anchovies and a pinch of chilli. The herby breadcrumb topping takes this simple anchovy pasta and makes it something really special. The slight crunch of both the crumbs and the crispy capers add texture and bite to this dish. Fussy eaters might be sceptical about anchovies, but they dissolve into the sauce so well that you can’t even tell they are there, but give such depth of flavour to the sauce. We’ve used dried linguini for our anchovy pasta, but this dish works really well with fresh pasta too. Linguini is a type of pasta that is slightly wider than spaghetti, but not as wide as fettucini. The long strands of pasta are the perfect partner for this sweet and salty tomato sauce.


  • 350g linguini
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 50g tin anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 400g tin tomatoes, blended
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 45g capers

For the crispy breadcrumbs

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 45g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3tbsp chopped parsley




  1. Cook the linguini in a pot of boiling salted water for around 8 mins, or according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the anchovies, garlic and chilli flakes for a few mins until the anchovy has dissolved and garlic is golden. Add the tinned tomatoes and and cook for 10 mins with the lid off, then add cherry tomatoes, stir to combine and turn off the heat.  
  3. To make the breadcrumbs, heat the olive oil and butter in a separate pan and fry the breadcrumbs and garlic on a low heat until crisp and just golden, then stir in parsley and cook for another minute. Remove the crispy crumbs from pan, then add capers to the same pan and fry on a medium to low heat until crisp, about 5 mins.
  4. Toss the cooked pasta through the tomato sauce, then top with breadcrumbs and crispy capers to serve.