Sicilian Pasta With Anchovies and Toasted Breadcrumbs is a traditional recipe from Palermo, Sicilia. There, you’ll find it under its original name: Pasta c’Anciuova e Muddica Atturrata. We shared the love for this rich, savory Sicilian pantry pasta with our friend Sasha of Serious Eats. The combination of salty, sweet, umami, and crunchy blew his mind! Recipe test after recipe test (read: dinner parties) along with our Palermitano expert Salvatore, Sasha finally nailed the perfect balance of flavor intensity and satisfying mouthfeel. Be prepared, you’re about to use a lot of anchovies!

Here’s our adapted version of the recipe. Head over to Serious Eats to read Sasha’s version!


SERVES: 4-5 people
TIME: About 40 minutes


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season very lightly with sea salt.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of EVOO in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Heat  4 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until softened but not browned (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring and breaking them up with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add tomato concentrate and stir to combine with the onion-anchovy mixture. Cook until the mixture turns dark brick red and is very dry.
  6. Transfer 1 cup boiling water from the pasta pot to the skillet to loosen the mixture, stirring until it becomes homogenous and creamy. Reduce heat on skillet to the lowest possible setting.
  7. Cook pasta in the pot of boiling water 2 to 3 minutes less than the package directs.
  8. Transfer pasta to the sauce, along with 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
  9. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly, until pasta is al dente and coated in sauce. It should just barely pool around the edges of the pan.
  10. Add raisins, pine nuts, and breadcrumbs, and toss to combine. Pasta should be well coated but not swimming in sauce (this dish is meant to have a slightly drier consistency than typical sauced pastas).
  11. Plate, sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs and serve right away.