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Italian Pasta With Anchovies

Italian Pasta With Anchovies

Pasta with anchovy olive sauce

This is a recipe for an Italian Pasta with anchovies.

This easy recipe gives you a really unique and tasty pasta thanks to the perfect mix of tomatoes, olives, anchovies and dried fruits. 

It is a great way to enjoy anchovies (or acciuga in Italian), as they pass on a hint of fish taste to the meal without making it too fishy (if you know what I mean).

italian anchovy pasta


Italian Pasta

We love Italian food. Especially Italian pasta. It is so easy to prepare, and the ways of making it taste good are endless.

I have many pasta recipes on my site including oil and garlic pasta, spaghetti bolognese and carbonara, to mention a few, all of which are classics in their own right. Have a look at the end of the post for a list of other pasta dishes you can link to.

italian pasta with olives

This Italian pasta dish is somewhat different as it combines some strong tastes, like anchovies and olives, with some sweet tastes like raisins and cranberries. It was around Christmas when I made this, so I had the cranberries to hand. You could swap out the raisins and cranberries for some nice thick currents or sultanas instead if you prefer. Whatever you have available.

The result, though I say it myself, is fabulous – a delicious Italian pasta with the taste of Italy.

authentic italian pasta

In this recipe, I actually use some Greek Kalamata olives, for a number of reasons: the purple colour looks great in this dish, they taste great and I can get them cheaply and easily at my local Aldi store. But you could just as easily also use some good Italian olives if you prefer.

Using anchovies in a pasta sauce 

I normally only ever use anchovies on my homemade pizzas as I love the salty strong taste they have. However, some people find them too strong to eat as whole fillets.

pasta with anchovies and olives
Italian Pasta with Anchovies

However, in this pasta sauce, they are perfect. When you put them in the pan they disintegrate slowly into the sauce and when mixed with the other ingredients, the strong taste dissolves leaving only a mild aroma of the former ingredient. This makes it a great ingredient to use, especially when mixing with the other distinctive ingredients in this recipe.

You can make this with any long-shaped dried pasta. I used some simple spaghetti in these photos.

pasta with anchovy

I think this is a unique pasta dish and hope you enjoy it.

If you do make it, please let me know how you got on in the comments section below!

How to make authentic Italian pasta with anchovies

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Italian Pasta With Anchovies

Italian Pasta With Anchovies

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This simple recipe will give you an authentic Italian pasta, made with anchovies, olives, sundried tomatoes and some raisins and cranberries.


  • 1 tin of anchovy fillets in virgin olive oil (50g)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 Large Kalamata Olives, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 can chopped Italian tomatoes
  • 50g dried raisins & cranberries
  • 6 sundried tomatoes (about 80g), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Long dried pasta (spaghetti, linguine or tagliatelle) (about 100g p.p.)


  1. Boil a saucepan of water for the pasta and add a pinch of salt and olive oil to the water.
  2. Meanwhile, de-pit the olives and cut them in half. Slice the garlic cloves as thinly as possible and cut the sundried tomatoes into smaller pieces.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the contents of the anchovy tin, including the oil. Use a wooden spoon to help dissolve the anchovies. Then add the garlic to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
  4. During this time, roast the pine nuts in another skillet over medium heat until slightly browned.
  5. Then add the can of tomatoes, the sundried tomatoes, the olives, pine nuts, raisins and cranberries to the anchovy mix, stirring well. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble away on low heat for about 10 minutes. If it becomes too thick then just add some of the pasta cooking water to thin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. In the meantime cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions. Then drain the pasta and add half the sauce and mix well.
  7. Serve up and add an extra spoon of sauce to the top, with some chopped parsley to garnish.


Serve with some ciabatta and a glass of red.

Optional: sprinkle with some red pepper flakes for an extra touch of spice.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 5gSugar: 14gProtein: 6g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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