Go Back

Anchovy Spaghetti with Pine Nut Picada

Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Theo Michaels


  • 350 g fresh spaghetti or 200 g dried (or any other pasta of your choice)
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • a small knob of butter
  • 12 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • a pinch of dried chilli
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to season

For the Pine Nut Picada

  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 slice of day-old bread, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat parlsey leaves
  • 1 gralic clove, crushed
  • finely grated zest of 1/2 a lemon


  • First make the Picada. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes, then pulverize them in a food processor or pestle and mortar until the texture of coarse sand. Put in a small bowl.
  • Line a plate with paper towels. Add the oil to the same pan and fry/sauté the bread until golden. Tip onto the paper towel-lined plate to drain and then add to the bowl with the pine nuts and crush them just a little with a pestle or the back of a spoon. Add the parsley, garlic and lemon zest to the bowl and stir to combine; it will be quite dry which is what we want for this particular dish. Set aside until needed.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions – you can put it on now if you are using dried pasta. If using fresh pasta, do it later, once the sauce has been made.
  • Add the oil and butter to a large saucepan set over a medium-hot heat. Add the anchovy fillets and stir – they will start to melt into the oil. Just before the anchovies have totally dissolved, add the garlic and tomatoes (crushing the tomatoes in the pan with a fork to release their juices). Cook for a few minutes, until the tomatoes have just started to soften then remove from the heat and add the dried chilli.
  • Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the anchovy, oil and tomato mixture and heat for a few minutes, just to help the pasta absorb all the lovely flavours. Season with a little salt (the anchovies are already pretty salty!) and pepper. Spoon the dressed pasta into bowls and sprinkle the picada over the top of each one to serve.