Olive Oil, Anchovy, and Parsley Pasta

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Brian and I had a lazy Sunday recently when we decided to watch Jon Favereau’s recent movie “Chef.” Of course I loved it! The movie had beautiful food scenery as I will call it. I can only imagine how much fun food stylists had working on that film. It was very inspiring to me, I was trying to convince Brian to buy me a food truck. Well that didn’t work, but my dinner last night did! There is a scene in the movie where he cooks a simple meal for Scarlett Johansson.

The simple meal is what I would call Spaghetti Aglio E Olio, which is simply spaghetti with olive oil and garlic. It is a simple dish that goes a long way with flavor.  Once again Brian was traveling for work, so I was left home alone with no issues consuming lots of garlic! I decided to try a little more fun to the dish by adding anchovies. If you do not like the taste of anchovies feel free to omit them!

Olive Oil, Anchovy, and Parsley Pasta


  • 1 lb dried spaghetti

  • 1/3 c olive oil

  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced thin (I use large garlic cloves)

  • 2 anchovy filets

  • 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/2 lemon lemon juice

  • 1 c grated parmesan

  • salt and pepper

  • 1/2 tsp red pepper crushed (optional)


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta. Try to make sure you cook the pasta until it is al dente.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edge. Do not burn the garlic, if you do you have to start over!

  3. Add the red pepper flakes and anchovy cook for 3 more minutes until the anchovy starts to melt into the oil. Then take the pan off the heat.

  4. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

  5. Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra parmesan on the side.