Pasta with Anchoives & Breadcrumbs  

(“Pasta con Acciughe e Mollica Tostata” –

“Pasta C’Anciovi e Muddica”)


In my hometown, Palermo, the pasta with anchovies and toasted bread crumbs is a very traditional dish. It is preferred for its easiness of preparation, for the speedy execution and because it is a simple dish that you can make with few and common ingredients that you are likely to have in your pantry. 

The result is a superb, quick and tasty meal to offer to your family, or for a midnight snack to conclude an evening with your friends with a “spaghettata” after playing cards or watching a game on TV. 

It is ideal if you are craving for some  light, tasty, comfort food which does not require much effort.


Serves 4



·          ¾ cup  Italian bread crumbs 

·          2 tablespoons of olive oil 

·          2  garlic cloves, whole crushed 

·          4 tablespoons of olive oil 

·          3 large salted anchovies rinsed and without bones 

·          Fresh grounded black pepper 

·          Salt 


·          1 lb. long cut pasta: spaghetti, margherita, fettuccine or long fusilli 



The Bread Crumbs 

 In a 10 inch skillet, over a medium heat, toast the bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Keep stirring until crumbs are light brown. Place in a container and set aside


The Sauce


Over a medium flame, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan.
Add the garlic and the salted anchovies and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue turning until anchovies are almost melted, about 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat, discard the garlic; the sauce is ready.


The Pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions, reducing recommended cooking time by 2 minutes.
Drain pasta, reserve a cup of water. Put the pasta back into the pot and toss with ½ of the sauce, 4 tablespoons of bread crumbs and some freshly ground black pepper.   

Mix for 2 minutes at a low heat, until the pasta, the sauce and bread crumbs are well combined; add 4 tablespoons of the reserved water to loosen pasta, and adding more as needed.

Plate individual portions of pasta and sprinkle each plate with breadcrumbs; garnish with a few parsley leaves.

Serve immediately with crushed red pepper flakes on the side.

A medium body sun-ripened wine like a Californian Pinot Noir would balance well the savory taste of the pasta and compliment this simple and flavorful dish.