Sicilian Spaghetti

by Cate on January 25, 2008

An old and dear friend of mine, Trevor, started reading Sweetnicks some months back and has made a bunch of my recipes since then. He has also developed his own love of cooking, and has sent me a few of his own recipes to try out. I hadn’t tried any of them yet, and I promised him I was making one of them tonight. So with The Husband home for dinner tonight, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to try Trevor’s Ragu Bolognese. It sure sounded like a good plan, until I printed out the recipe and started skimming the directions, jumping to the bottom where it says something about 1-1/2 hours … and it was 5:45 pm. Ooops. This weekend, Trevor, I promise!

But now what? I jumped on AllRecipes site and started skimming their Top 20 Recipes section and spied a recipe for Sicilian Spaghetti. I had all the ingredients on hand, and it was quick to put together. Plan B.

The Neighbors had an appointment tonight, so The Girlfriend was joining us for dinner. Mid-recipe, she comes into the kitchen and says, “Miss Cate, when you make me my sandwich, can you make sure to put mayo on it? Because I like mayo.” To which I responded, “That’s good to know, but we’re having spaghetti tonight. Is that ok?” Luckily she smiled, quickly nodded and ran away to go back to playing with Nicholas. Bullet successfully dodged… little kid meltdowns at dinner time are never fun.

Flashforward to the dinner table and both kids are inhaling their pasta. Not only are they unknowingly eating anchovies, they’re also eating whole wheat pasta (love Barilla’s!). The only change I made was to drizzle a little bit of extra virgin olive oil over the pasta at the end, and I’d do that next time too, perhaps even a little bit more. Without it, the pasta would have been way too dry. If you’re looking for a pasta with a sauce, this is not the pasta to choose.

Dinner crisis averted, kids happy and well-fed with a healthy dinner, and I managed to save an unneeded trip to the grocery store. My work here is done.

Sicilian Spaghetti
Recipe courtesy of Simon, AllRecipes
8 servings

1 pound spaghetti
4 tablespoons olive oil (I used more at the end to make the pasta a little less dry)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (2 ounce) can anchovy fillets, chopped (I promise you won’t be able to taste these in the finished dish)
1 cup fine bread crumbs
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
ground black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic and anchovies to cook for about 2 minutes; stir constantly. Stir in breadcrumbs and turn off heat. Add parsley and black ground pepper; mix together. Toss anchovy sauce with hot pasta and sprinkle with cheese; serve.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Patsyk January 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm

This looks like something even my boys would eat (they dislike any “sauce” on their pasta, so I tend to do “clear” sauces for them). I love that this is one of those things that can be made from pantry staples… although anchovies would be a new addition for us… never cooked with them before.


RecipeGirl January 25, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Hi Cate,

This sounds great. It’s nice to find spaghetti recipes that aren’t tomato-based. I like to use them as side dishes to chicken. I have a great recipe for Lemon-Garlic Angel Hair that serves that purpose too.

Thanks for sharing!!


Anonymous January 25, 2008 at 3:13 pm

The dinner was great! Thanks so much. Isn’t it funny how she now likes mayo. Remember a couple of weeks ago when you made a sandwich for her she say she didn’t like mayo. I recall she ate it anyway. Kids are so funny.

Thanks again,

The Neighbor (wife)


Cate January 25, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Patsy – I’m a confirmed anchovy-hater, but once they’re heated, they melt away and you just get a little salty goodness. Only reason I keep them on hand. ;)

Recipegirl – Lemon-Garlic Angel Hair sounds great, Giada has a good Lemon Spaghetti recipe too, that’s a favorite go-to.

The Neighbor Wife – I thought that she had mentioned she didn’t like it before. Glad we could help convert her. ;)


Arfi Binsted January 25, 2008 at 9:17 pm

what i love about the true Italian dish is that it is purely wonderful without being over-creamy and sticky. that is just a simple dish i have ever seen of Italian-modified foods in the world.


Mommyleek January 31, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this quick and delicious recipe. I made this one for dinner tonight and it is a perfect and quick solution to a weeknight meal for a hectic family. Of course, my three-year-old turned his nose up, but he turns his nose up at almost everything. My only change to this was to add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the finished product just to make it a little more ‘saucy’. Made as the directions read, mine turned out much drier than my family prefers their pasta, even after adding some more olive oil, as you suggested. I was afraid adding even MORE oil would just make it too greasy. Again, thanks for sharing this one with us.


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