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Spicy spaghetti with chilli, garlic and breadcrumbs

A summery and light spaghetti dish using olive oil, herbs and chilli


  • 1 onion, chopped fine

  • 2-3 small red chillis, chopped fine

  • 4 cloves of garlic or more to taste, chopped fine

  • 1 small tin (six) anchovies, chopped

  • Three quarters of a cup of packet breadcrumbs or make your own with sourdough bread and toast in a frypan

  • 8-10 semidried or sundried tomatoes, chopped

  • Half cup diced mushrooms, shitake or field

  • 1 capsicum, diced

  • Pitted olives, chopped, optional

  • I teaspoon dried basil, same of dried oregano or thyme

  • Good handful chopped fresh basil or few sprigs fresh thyme – leaves only

  • Two tablespoons of flat leaf parsely chopped

  • Third to half cup extra virgin olive oil (just enough to coat spaghetti but not swamp it..)

  • 500 g dried spaghetti

  • Lots of good grated parmesan


  • 1.

    Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on low to medium. Fry onion and capsicum gently to golden and soft, add dried herbs and mushrooms, fry gently for a few minutes or until mushrooms soften.

  • 2.

    Add a little more oil, until oil is lightly covering the bottom of the pan enough to coat pasta and no more. Add garlic and chilli, anchovies, tomatoes and olives if using, fry gently for a minute then turn off heat and let the oil sit while the pasta is cooking, to infuse.

  • 3.

    Cook spaghetti and when nearly cooked, reheat oil on medium, add some breadcrumbs and fry gently, until they soak up the oil and become crisp. If using fresh breadcrumbs, toast previoulsy in a dry frypan and add only at the end with the pasta.

  • 4.

    Drain spaghetti add to pan and toss, adding a little more oil if needed. Add parmesan and chopped parsley and basil or thyme, toss and serve with more grated parmesan and lots of fresh ground black pepper.


Don't overdo the oil, use good parmesan and good extra virgin olive oil.

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